A47 upgrade plans around Norwich face High Court legal challenge
Environmental campaigners said schemes like the A47 would have an impact on the UK's ability to hit its carbon net zero targets by 2050 At a glance Upgrade plans for the A47 around Norwich is being challenged in the High Court An environmental campaigner is bringing the legal action He said the overall impact of three separate schemes had not been assessed National Highways said there was support for the plans There are plans to upgrade the A47 at several points along its route Plans to upgrade parts of the A47 around Norwich are being challenged in the High Court over the affect they would have on reaching climate change targets. Campaigner Andrew Boswell claims the government has not considered the full "cumulative" environmental impact of the three separate schemes. He said that, if successful, his case could affect road building policy across the country. National Highways said there was support for the A47 work but recognised the decision could be challenged. Andrew Boswell said the environmental impact of all the upgrade plans needed to be considered together Works to improve the road , external - between North Tuddenham and Easton, between Blofield and North Burlingham, and at the Thickthorn junction - have been on hold since December after a judge gave Dr Boswell leave to launch his judicial review. National Highways is planning several improvements to the A47 - including three around Norwich Opening the case, Dr Boswells barrister David Wolfe KC stressed that this action was not about questioning the transport secretarys decision. The issue is how he applied the climate change implications of the A47 improvement programme, he said. He said ministers had a statutory obligation to assess the amount of carbon generated by every new project as part of the governments commitment to reach net zero by 2050. But he said the problem when assessing the impact of a scheme individually was that the carbon baseline assumes that no additional infrastructure [in the area] is built". He said figures were gathered showing the cumulative impact of all three schemes but they were not included in the final summary shown to the transport secretaries Grant Shapps and Anne-Marie Trevelyan before they approved the schemes. The government is expected to outline its defence in the two-day hearing tomorrow. Its legal team is expected to argue that ministers followed the law and took all relevant information into consideration. Jenny Bates from Friends of the Earth hopes the legal challenge will be successful Environmental groups hope that if Dr Boswell succeeds, the government will have to reconsider its plans to upgrade other roads across the country. Jenny Bates, from Friends of the Earth, said: "If we carry on with the governments massive road building programme we dont stand a hope of meeting our net zero or air pollution targets. "Transport is the single biggest sector for climate emissions and it is just incompatible to build more and more roads which generate new extra traffic." National Highways said there had been a lot of local support for the A47 work, but it recognised the rights of individuals to challenge the governments decisions. A spokesman said: "We set ourselves tough targets in terms of lowering corporate carbon emissions and making sure that our future projects lead to an increase in local biodiversity." At the end of the hearing, the judge, Mrs Justice Thornton, was expected to reserve judgement, which would be handed down in a few months' time. Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook , external , Instagram , external and Twitter , external . If you have a story for us, email email@example.com , external New council leader to press for NDR link cash Upgrade to dangerous busy road junction approved Campaigner challenges dual carriageway approval Road blackspot improvement works approved National Highways Woman born during Battle of Passchendaele celebrates 106th birthday 7 of the best roast dinners in Norfolk according to Google reviews 5 celebrities you could spot in Norwich this autumn Severe thunderstorm warning issued for parts of Norfolk Gorleston woman's care home eviction almost due Call for rethink to stop sell off of empty council buildings Morocco rescuers dig with bare hands as foreign aid sent US denies Cold War with China in historic Vietnam visit How Russia and West agreed on Ukraine G20 language Florida's first hurricane-proof town The greatest spy novel ever written? Why is everyone crazy about Aperol? 2023 BBC.