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Lower Thames Crossing to be challenged at High Court

The Lower Thames Crossing is expected to produce five million tonnes of carbon emissions 

A legal challenge to the Government’s second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) will go before the High Court today. 

The £27.4 billion strategy includes 50 major road schemes, including the Lower Thames Crossing, which are responsible for 10 per cent of the UK’s domestic CO2 emissions. 

Transport Action Network (TAN) allege the Secretary of State for Transport broke the law by approving RIS2 without considering its impact on the environment. 

They claim Grant Shapps abandoned plans to reduce the amount of carbon emissions produced by the project on the grounds climate commitments were not “obviously material” to road-building.  

TAN Director Chris Todd said: “Trying to argue climate change isn’t “obviously material” to approving the largest ever roads programme is like saying public health is not relevant to reform of smoking rules. 

“In an audacious attempt to protect his addiction to asphalt, Shapps is now seeking a legal precedent that decision-makers can ignore climate targets.”

A new woodland site will be created near Brentwood (credit: Highways England)

The Lower Thames Crossing will connect Essex and Kent and is the largest scheme in the RIS2. It would link to the A13 in Thurrock and M25 in Havering. 

Highways England recently announced a new woodland, the size of 135 football pitches, will be developed near Great Warley to limit the environmental impact of the development. 

Laura Blake, Chair of Thames Crossing Action Group, is still concerned about the harm the project will do to the environment. 

“We know that the proposed Lower Thames Crossing would create over 5 million tonnes of carbon emissions, along with all the other negative impacts which we would suffer if the LTC were to go ahead,” she said. 

“We wholeheartedly support this legal challenge, and appreciate all the hard work by TAN and the legal team.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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