Legality of £27bn roads building programme in question due to…

legality-of-27bn-roads-building-programme-in-question-due-to…

Legality of £27bn roads building programme in question due to…

Legality of £27bn roads building programme in question due to climate targets
2021-06-29 22:35:00
The legality of the government’s second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) is to be determined by the High Court.  Campaigners from Transport Action Network (TAN) say transport secretary Grant Shapps broke the law when approving the £27.4bn road strategy, by failing to consider its effects on the environment.  The RIS2 is for road upgrades between 2020 and 2025 and includes the Lower Thames Crossing and the Stonehenge Tunnel. The challenge by TAN says there was a failure to take into account the UK’s net zero carbon emissions target as well as the Paris Climate Agreement. Also that the government “failed to carry out Strategic Environmental Assessment of RIS2”.  The TAN claim uses the precedent of the legal challenge of the Airports National Policy Statement. The DfT is arguing that the road building should go ahead, using the precedent of the failure of the challenge by Chris Packham against HS2.  TAN say: “If we are serious about tackling the climate emergency, improving quality of life after the pandemic and delivering a less congested future, we need to reduce traffic.”  If TAN succeeds, blocking road building, it could set an important precedent, not only for the UK, but globally, (airports, not only roads) in the run up to COP26 in November. .Tweet   Legality of £27bn roads building programme in question as court battle begins 29 JUN, 2021 BY ROB HORGAN (New Civil Engineer) The legality of the government’s second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) will be determined during a two day High Court hearing starting today. Campaigners from Transport Action Network (TAN) claim that transport secretary Grant Shapps broke the law when approving the £27.4bn RIS2 by failing to consider its effects on the environment. The investment plan, approved in March 2020, includes £14.7bn worth of road route upgrades between 2020 and 2025. The Lower Thames Crossing and the Stonehenge Tunnel (pictured) are among the major projects which will get underway by 2025. In particular, the High Court claim states that there was a failure to take into account the UK’s net zero carbon emissions target as well as the Paris Climate Agreement. It adds that the government “failed to carry out Strategic Environmental Assessment of RIS2”. The claim also uses the Friends of the Earth Ltd v Secretary of State for Transport [2020] case as a precedent for blocking RIS2. In that instance, the Court of Appeal overturned the government’s Airports National Policy Statement ruling that it had failed to consider the Paris Climate Agreement, effectively putting an end to Heathrow’s expansion plans. However, since the Transport Action Network submitted its claim, the Supreme Court has overturned the decision on Heathrow expansion. The DfT’s official response

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