United Kingdom

Transport Action Network v. Secretary of State for Transport and Highway England Company (on Roads Investment Strategy)

Jurisdiction: High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division


Principle law(s): Climate Change Act,Infrastructure Act 2015


Side A: Transport Action Network (Ngo)


Side B: Secretary of State for Transport (Government)


Side B: Highway England Company (Corporation)


Core objectives:

Whether the UK government's Second Roads Investment Strategy unlawfully fails to consider climate and air pollution impacts


Summary
On June 1, 2020, Transport Action Network (TAN) filed a suit in the High Court of Justice challenging the legality of the UK government's Second Roads Investment Strategy, covering the years 2020-2025, on climate and air pollution grounds. TAN, an environmental advocacy NGO, named the Secretary of State for Transport as the defendant and Highways England Company, appointed by the Secretary to implement the strategy, as an interested party. TAN listed four grounds for its suit: 1) the Secretary failed to take into account the impact of the roads strategy on achieving climate objectives, in violation of the Infrastructure Act of 2015 and the objectives of the Paris Agreement; 2) the Secretary unlawfully failed to establish a metric for measuring GHG emissions; 3) the Secretary unlawfully failed to ensure levels of air pollutants do not exceed limits set in air quality regulations; and 4) the Secretary unlawfully failed to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the roads strategy. 

On July 21, 2020, the High Court admitted the case on the first ground - that the Secretary unlawfully failed to take into account climate impacts. On October 19, 2020, TAN renewed its application for the court to admit the air pollution claims, and a hearing was held on the issue on October 29, 2020.
Case documents

Related laws and policies
  • This law implements United Kingdom legislation
    Climate Change Act

    Passed in 2008 Legislative

    The Act provides a long-term framework to improve carbon management, to help the transition to a low carbon economy, encourage investment in low carbon goods and provide an international signal. The Act establishes a legally binding target for the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net z...

  • This law implements United Kingdom legislation
    Infrastructure Act 2015

    Passed in 2015 Legislative

    This act makes provisions for a range of infrastructure projects and strategies across the country. It notably makes provisions to enable building regulations to provide for off-site carbon abatement measures.Art. 49 focuses on seeking advice on likely impact of onshore petroleum on the carbon bu...

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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