Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Orders challenge set to delay BNRR

ANTI-ROAD CAMPAIGNERS are set to halt plans for the UK's first directly tolled motorway with a second legal challenge this week.

The Alliance Against Birmingham Northern Relief Road is expected to submit a quashing order to the High Court today (Thursday) which challenges the legality of Orders made by the Secretary of State. Law firm Leigh Day claimed that the move is likely to stall progress on the project for several months.

Solicitor Richard Stein refused to disclose the basis of the action but, hinting at what is involved, said: 'The government has misunderstood its powers of duties and has not done things that it should have done. We are getting away from the technical detail and looking into the principles which have been applied.'

A source close to the campaign warned that if the challenge is successful 'at least one aspect' of the action would necessitate major changes to the 43km scheme and, he claimed 'could make the road unprofitable for Midland Expressway'.

Midland Expressway managing director Tom Smith said that he had expected the challenge but was confident it would not succeed. 'The legal challenges will delay the project but I do not believe they will stop the road. It has been through a 15 month public inquiry, and if it has to go through more legal hoops I'm sure it will without any problems,' he said.

Under statutory procedures, the Orders, which authorise the line of the road, the charging of tolls and the acquisition of land, are open to challenge until 3 April (NCE 19 February).

In a separate legal action the Alliance is awaiting a judicial review at the end of April to get sight of Midland Expressway's 53 year concession agreement. If that action is successful the Alliance will try to show that the concession contains illegal punitive charge clauses against cancellation of the road.

Matthew Jones

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.