Wednesday, 22 April 2020


Economic Recovery At Risk As Climate Campaigners Launch Legal Bid To Stop UK Govt’s £29 Billion Road Building Plans
Forbes, 21 April 2020

The U.K. government’s £28.8 billion plan to expand Britain’s road network is set to be challenged by the same legal team which, in February, halted the Department for Transport’s plan to expand Heathrow.

The Court of Appeal ruled Heathrow expansion plans were illegal because the Department for Transport had ignored the Paris climate agreement.

Lawyers acting for Transport Action Network (TAN) have asked the Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England to scrap their five-year road building plan.

At its launch alongside the budget in March, the Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) was described by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as England’s “largest ever” roads programme.
A commitment to ramp up spending on mainly strategic roads was a key manifesto pledge in the Conservative party’s general election campaign last year. RIS2 revealed that £25.3 billion would be spent on freeways and A-roads, and £3.5 billion was pledged for major local routes.

TAN claims the plan breaches climate and air quality laws, and they have charged solicitors Leigh Day to act on their behalf. The firm has retained the services of David Wolfe QC of Matrix chambers and Pete Lockley of 11 KBW, the same legal team that was victorious in the Heathrow case.

TAN director Chris Todd said: “How can the DfT claim to take climate change seriously when it is set to burn billions on the ‘largest ever roads programme’ to make things worse?”
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