Government has lost £500,000 so far in air quality legal battle


Latest figures suggest the Government has spent close to £500,000 in its failed legal cases over air quality, in which it was defeated three times by environmental lawyers ClientEarth.

A data trail released through Freedom of Information suggests that £485,997 has been spent and up to £25,000 more could be paid out after negotiations over recouping legal costs for ClientEarth are factored in.

Trips to the courts can be expensive

Despite this expense the Government has still yet to produce a legal air quality strategy that reduces air pollution as soon as is practicable in every one of the 43 UK air quality reporting zones.

The first case was reported to cost £64,908.82, the second £191,574.24 and the latest case, in February this year, £148,135.

On top of this were sundry costs, including paying ClientEarth's legal fees, totalling £81,378.

A further £25,000 could be added to this after negotiations over the latest costs due to ClientEarth for legal are completed.

The total figure then has £15,000 subtracted for fees ClientEarth has to pay the Government during this protracted battle.

As ministers might say, based on the average cost of repairing a pothole as part of a planned programme, the toal figure could have fixed roughly 10,000 potholes across UK roads. [Just saying - Ed]


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