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Legal Bid Launched To Stop U.K. Government’s £29 Billion Road Building Plans

April 21, 2020

By Paul Homewood


 Well, I did warn you!!!


From Forbes:



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 program.

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, a new campaign group, claims the plan breaches climate and air quality laws, and they have charged solicitors Leigh Day to act on their behalf. The firm, in turn, 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.


 It remains to be seen what the courts make of this, but the Heathrow judgement has clearly opened up a whole new can of worms.

  1. April 21, 2020 4:59 pm

    China is waiting in the wings to take over the world after the falangs are all done committing economic suicide.

    • 01 Cat permalink
      April 21, 2020 5:10 pm

      Indeed! Roads are the arteries of a vibrant economy-hardly needed if a stake has already been driven through the heart!

    • Eric Johnson permalink
      April 21, 2020 5:24 pm

      China’s NOT waiting. They have their fangs deeply embedded in many small, strategic countries through construction contracts which aren’t payable. Excellent strategy as it’s (1) legal and temporarily beneficially locally and (2) it’s apparently not on anybody’s radar.

      Benignly named “Belt and Road.” More like Noose and Toll Road.

      • April 22, 2020 3:44 am

        Brilliant comment. Thank you. The gwadar port in pakistan is an example. It was proposed as a foreign aid project to help poor little pakistan but the end result is china now effectively has a highway to and their own seaport on the indian ocean and persian gulf.

  2. Harry permalink
    April 21, 2020 5:12 pm

    Repeal the climate change act-that would resolve the matter.

    • April 22, 2020 7:34 am

      Yes sir. This is the answer.

    • waterside4 permalink
      April 22, 2020 5:56 pm

      Can you imagine Boris Corbyn’s concubine allowing him to do that?

    • cajwbroomhill permalink
      April 24, 2020 9:02 am

      Thought the Paris agreements reco mendns were voluntary

  3. David Calder permalink
    April 21, 2020 5:23 pm

    I do wish these horrible anti democratic nutters would give it a rest. How can it be explained to them that taxpayers do actually expect some provision to support their prosperity to make from manifesto to implementation? I can’t understand how minority views can always be given so much weight.

    The Paris Climate bollox is not UK law and I don’t remember voting for it or agreeing to any of its idealistic lunacy. We did vote this government in, and some of what they said they intended to do looked like it might be quite useful. Not much. Roads are rather important.

  4. GeeoffB permalink
    April 21, 2020 5:31 pm

    The Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019. I just hope this gets repealed, they will win the case ….its as the law stands. On a different approach FDR in usa after the 1929 crash started a mammoth investment in infrastructure to kick start the economy and it worked, that is going to be needed as we come out of the covid 19 crisis.

  5. Up2snuff permalink
    April 21, 2020 5:33 pm

    If there is one characteristic of the AGW/CC/C-E and environmental lobby then, above all else, they are really not very bright. They think that CO2 emissions are heating the planet, that vehicle emissions are killing us all prematurely with pollution, so they wish to encourage more of both by keeping road transport as clogged as possible.

    In their dimness, they actually seem to believe their own false slogan ‘build more roads and they will just fill up with more traffic’ that they use for the more gullible of journalists in our UK media.

    • ianprsy permalink
      April 21, 2020 5:38 pm

      I think you’re dangerously mistaken. Most of the stupids are the “Useful Idiots”. The zealots have a very clear agenda.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      April 21, 2020 6:26 pm

      How do they explain all those empty roads in Scotland? 😇

  6. Thomas Carr permalink
    April 21, 2020 5:43 pm

    Follow the money. Who is underwriting this and to what advantage? As with so many of these organisations TAN’s title opposes their intention: transport Inaction.

  7. Great Scott permalink
    April 21, 2020 5:59 pm

    Do’t blame anyone but our stupid government. If you choose to pass ridiculous virtue signalling laws you can’t blame campaigners and the courts if they choose to make you uphold them.

    • CheshireRed permalink
      April 22, 2020 8:44 am


  8. Diogenese2 permalink
    April 21, 2020 6:20 pm

    Ah but, all our new wave of electric vehicles will require an upgraded road system with charging stations every couple of miles with facilities for the coach passengers during the 2. hour recharges, easier gradients, bike lanes for electric scooters and upgraded fire services to manage the Tesla’s. Clearly Zero emissions will mean a complete rebuild of the road network and making the case will be a doddle for Rishi!

  9. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    April 21, 2020 6:24 pm

    I’m getting a bit more into the smite them idea…

  10. Phoenix44 permalink
    April 21, 2020 6:30 pm

    The Heathrow decision had nothing to do with air quality as such. Expansion required a National Policy Statement (NPS) to allow the government to take over the planning process. The government’s own rules say that an NPS must include references to “policy” not just law. Paris was not law at the time of the NPS, but it was “policy.” Other courts rejected this and said it was not even arguable, but the Appeal Court, for some reason, thought differently. We will see what the Supreme Court thinks.

    I’m not sure the roads programme needs an NPS, but I believe that Paris is now law, and so an NPS will have reference to it. I can’t see how the Heathrow decision is at all relevant.

  11. GeoffB permalink
    April 21, 2020 6:58 pm

    my original comment seem to have got moderated off…..a first on this site i think im banned from the guardian tho,,,,, all i said was until the climate change act is repealed they will win the legal case and after covid 19 is over we will need investment in infrastructure to kick start the economy like FDR did in USA post 1929.

    • GeoffB permalink
      April 22, 2020 11:29 am

      original is back now…..?????

    • Bertie permalink
      April 22, 2020 12:14 pm

      It’s there. They sometimes take a while to go up.

  12. LeedsChris permalink
    April 21, 2020 7:48 pm

    Seems like it doesn’t matter having elections now and the voters voting for the policies they like. People with money and axes to grind can use the legal system to overthrow policies. If that’s the case how come judges aren’t putting themselves up for election? This is a new tyranny, with judges acting as the Executive and Government.

  13. Harry permalink
    April 21, 2020 9:11 pm

    Approx.80% of travel is done by road.You will get more bang for your buck if you invest in new roads and motorways. Yet the Govt. seems more keen on expensive vanity projects like HS2.

    • April 22, 2020 5:27 am

      A giant tube full of Chinese virus-infected travelers?
      For £106bn.
      What’s not to like?

  14. CheshireRed permalink
    April 22, 2020 8:51 am

    As others have said repealing the ludicrous CC Act would stop this nonsense stone dead.

    It ought to be the default reaction because as things stand climate activists have effectively taken control of ALL government policies. ANY policy on ANY subject that breaches the CC Act can (and probably will) be challenged. On current form activists will win every time.

    Nobody voted for government policy to be dictated by climate activists. The correct action would be to inform TAN that if they continue their actions government WILL repeal the CC Act.

    However I fear we have yet another Conservative in name only ‘Conservative’ party, who don’t possess the cojones to do the obvious and nix the legal route these activists are pursuing.

  15. Adamsson66 permalink
    April 22, 2020 9:17 am

    well after the lockdown none of us will have jobs to go to or be able to afford cars so it won’t make much difference

  16. Jackington permalink
    April 22, 2020 12:56 pm

    Relax, with Grant Shapps on the job what can possibly go wrong?

  17. auralay permalink
    April 24, 2020 8:19 am

    Interesting article in the Spectator (££) by James Forsyth “Squabbling scientists have shocked ministers”. Money quote “Cabinet members have been taken aback by the disagreements among those now advising the government. One minister remarks, with a note of shock, that ‘scientists are as bitchy as a bunch of lawyers.”

    Maybe this will open eyes that their are many scientists with good reason to doubt the CO2 danger theories,

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