Transport Action Network’s legal challenges

Find out more about Transport Action Network‘s legal challenges against the UK Government’s £27bn road building program, which includes the proposed Lower Thames Crossing.


Who are Transport Action Network (TAN)?

Although a relatively new organisation TAN has over 50 years’ experience of environmental campaigning. Their work includes helping and supporting those opposing damaging road schemes, such as our fight against the LTC.  We fully support their legal challenges.


What are TAN’s legal challenges?

There are two different legal challenges, and both are relevant to the proposed Lower Thames Crossing.

The RIS2 legal challenge

This first challenge is in regard to the UK Government’s approval of it’s £27 billion road building programme (also known as the Road Investment Strategy 2 – RIS2), including the proposed LTC, on climate grounds.

This case was heard at the High Court on June 29th and 30th 2021.

The judgement was issued on Mon 26th July 2021 – click here to read our update.

Latest – TAN have submitted an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Learn more about the RIS2 legal challenge on TAN’s website


National Policy Statement legal challenge

Moving on to the second challenge, which is in relation to the UK Government’s refusal to review the national policy that governs planning for new roads.  The policy is officially known as the National Policy Statement for National Networks (NPS NN), and dates back to 2014.  It doesn’t allow decision makers to seriously consider climate change. In addition, it is also now outdated regarding air pollution, natural capital (biodiversity) and design.

For instance, the Government have agreed to a legally binding commitment to Net Zero by 2050 since this policy was published. However, the policy has not been reviewed and updated to reflect this legally binding commitment.

Update 14th July 2021 – It was announced in the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan that they now intend to review the road policy.  TAN have issued the following update – click here.

Update 22nd July 2021 – It has been announced that the Government will not be suspending the policy whilst it is reviewed which will not be completed before Spring 2023.  This means that road projects, like LTC, can still be pushed through against the outdated policy whilst it is being reviewed.  Transport Action Network are now considering further legal action.

Update 11th November 2021 – Transport Action Network have now filed a fresh claim for judicial review of Grant Shapps’ refusal to suspend the National Policy Statement for National Networks (NPSNN) whilst it is being reviewed for being out of date on climate change policy. The NPSNN is the national policy framework that the LTC will be judged against. TAN’s case against the DfT is here, and the DfT’s defence is here.

To donate towards the roads policy legal challenge please click here

Learn more about the National Policy Statement legal challenge on TAN’s website


Relevance to TCAG and our fight against the proposed LTC

Both legal challenges are relevant to our fight against LTC, because LTC is part of RIS2, and the National Policy Statement is used as part of the decision making process for it.

The Carbon Emissions for the LTC are over 5m tonnes, which is by no means in keeping with the legal binding commitment of Carbon Net Zero.


Thanks to Transport Action Network for their hard work in regard to these legal challenges, and for their support in our fight against LTC.  Together we are stronger!



Transport Action Network’s own websiteclick here to read more on their site about the legal challenges

TAN on Facebook | TAN on Twitter – They’re doing great work, please give them a Like and Follow!

TAN press release (11 Nov 2021) –

The Times (Nov 2021) – Campaigners accuse ministers of ‘oiling the way for massive road building’

New Civil Engineer (Jun 2021) – Legality of £27bn roads building programme in question as court battle begins

Thurrock Nub News (Jun 2021) – Legal challenge could bring a halt to government plans for Lower Thames Crossing

The Guardian – £27bn roads plan in doubt after Shapps overrode official advice (Feb 2021)

BBC – Climate Change: Government may review road-building policy

New Civil Engineer – DfT pressed on with £27bn roads plan against official advice to review environmental impact

Financial Times – Campaigners launch legal challenge against UK road-building plan

National Policy Statement for National Networks (read the policy)