Greengauge 21 welcomed the news that the Court of Appeal has rejected the legal challenges to HS2, brought by three sets of claimants, after the High Court rulings in the Government’s favour earlier this year.
Of the seven broad areas of challenge to the decisions on the principle of HS2 and route for Phase One (from London to Birmingham) the Court of Appeal ruled categorically in the Government’s favour on every one.
This gives the Government the green light to press ahead with HS2, and means that the Government will be moving forward as planned with introducing legislation in Parliament later this year and preparing for construction in 2017.
The Court of Appeal agreed it was lawful for the Government to choose to rule out upgrading the existing network as a credible alternative to HS2. It also agreed with the High Court that the Government’s approach to consultation on the principle of HS2 and the Phase One route, and on environmental and equalities assessments, had all been carried out fairly and lawfully.
High Speed Rail Minister Simon Burns has said:
“By dismissing all 7 grounds of appeal and declining to refer the case to Europe, this is the second time in 4 months a court has rejected attempts to derail HS2.
“Parliament is the right place to debate the merits of HS2, not the law courts, and we will introduce the hybrid bill for phase one before the year is out. I urge opponents not to waste any more taxpayers’ money on expensive litigation and instead work with us on making HS2 the very best it can be.
“We continue to move forward apace with the crucial business of getting the scheme ready for construction in 2017 and delivering enormous benefits for the country.”
Full details of the ruling are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hs2-judicial-review-the-appeals-rulings-explained