Legal Challenges

We are currently involved in a couple of legal actions, challenging the Government's obsession with new roads, which drive up traffic and emissions. We're also supporting a third challenge about Stonehenge.

Our two actions are quite distinct, yet connected.

RIS2 legal challenge: we're challenging the Government's approval of its £27 billion, second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) on climate grounds. This is how the Government wishes to see the strategic roads network in England develop over the next five years. This was our first legal challenge. We finally had a hearing in the High Court on 29-30 June 2021 after the Government tried every trick in the book to delay the case. The decision was announced on Monday 26 July 2021.

National Policy Statement legal challenge: we first challenged the Government's refusal to review the national policy that governs planning approval for new roads (National Policy Statement for National Networks, NPSNN) in March 2020. Currently it doesn't allow decision makers to seriously consider climate change.  It is also out of date regarding air pollution, natural capital (biodiversity) and design. We filed our claim in December 2020, Grant Shapps twice refused to review, ignoring the advice of his official advisors. On 14 July 2021 the DfT announced they would review the policy, but on 22 July 2021 they refused to suspend it in the meantime until the review ends by Spring 2023, almost two years later. We are considering further legal action of the refusal to suspend and continue to fundraise for our legal costs.

Click on the menu options for each to learn more.


National Policy Statement

We're particularly grateful for everyone who has contributed towards our legal costs via our two CrowdJustice pages and to WeHaveThePOWER and CPRE, the Countryside Charity, for helping fund the background research and work needed to bring these cases to court.