Campaign granted permission for judicial review of £27 billion UK roads programme

Posted: August 6, 2020 by oldbrew in government, Legal, Travel

Once more the courts are asked to intervene in UK transport policy on the grounds of ‘climate change objectives’ and other supposed issues, while the roads get ever more overcrowded.
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Transport Action Network (TAN) has been granted permission for judicial review of the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ decision to go ahead with the £27 billion roads programme (Roads Investment Strategy 2 or RIS2), reports Ekklesia.

Mrs Justice Lieven gave the go ahead for the review, saying that TAN’s case that Mr Shapps had not properly considered the impact of the multi-billion pound roads-building scheme on climate change objectives, including the carbon budgets under the Climate Change Act 2008 and the Paris Agreement, was arguable.

The Judge also declared the case to be “significant” which means it will be fast-tracked and should be heard at the High Court by early November.

Represented by Leigh Day solicitors, TAN has further asked that the decision should also be allowed to scrutinised on the grounds of air quality and lack of strategic environmental assessment, which the first judge initially refused.

It argues that the Secretary of State has a duty “actively to drive down levels of air pollution, not merely to ask himself whether air quality impacts of a given development are too severe to permit it to proceed”.

It argues that strategic environmental impact is grounds for review because although the judge said RIS2 “is an investment document rather than a planning policy document for future development” and therefore would not fall within the Strategic Environmental Assessment regulations, RIS2 is “a document containing elements of (or akin to) planning policy” because it constrains consideration of the need for road projects further down the line.

Importantly, these arguments will be made in the context of there being a mandatory legal duty placed on the Secretary of State to have regard to the effect of RIS2 on the environment, yet RIS2 having never been subject to any sort of environmental impact assessment, let alone being consulted on or subject to parliamentary debate.

Full report here.

  1. ivan says:

    Do any of the eco-loons have a working brain cell? If they get their way there won’t be anything left in the country apart from a few people huddled together under a hedge.

    What are they going to do when food stops arriving at the supermarket, their phones stop working and there is no electricity to charge their EVs?

  2. Bloke back down the pub says:

    I’m ok with having a judicial review, as long as the review also looks into the question of whether the governments climate change targets make any sense.

  3. oldbrew says:

    government climate change targets – is pompous nonsense, without more ado.

  4. Phoenix44 says:

    Total waste of their money. They don’t seem to understand what they are doing. National policy is not driven by individual projects. The government can obviously reduce air pollution in total whilst increasing it in some places. The same is true of CO2. Adhering to insane Green policies is not the same as never again doing anything like building a road or expanding an airport. As a simple example, if you expand Heathrow but shut Gatwick & Stansted, emissions will be lowered considerably. The courts know this, that national policy is in total, not project by project.

  5. Adam Gallon says:

    “Transport Action Network”, OK, never heard of you, who are you?
    Transport Action Network (TAN) is a not for profit company limited by guarantee (it has no share capital). Its Company Number is 12100114.
    It’s run by a pair of professional objectors, Chris Todd & Rebecca Lush, she of the cosmetics company fame? Funded by The Foundation for Integrated Transport (an anti-car protest group), Lush Cosmetics & “We Have The Power”

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