Hillingdon loses HS2 battle


A London highway authority has failed in a judicial review against ministers over the council’s ability to control construction traffic for HS2.

The London Borough of Hillingdon brought the case after a planning inspector, appointed by the transport secretary and communities secretary, backed an appeal by HS2 Ltd against Hillingdon’s rejection of its routes for HGVs.


The council said it knew that HS2’s plan would cause congestion and rejected its planned routes because it did not provide sufficient information, in the form of a traffic impact assessment, for appropriate controls to be put in place.

The case was complicated by the fact that the inspector had applied what he considered to be the law at the time, except that it was based on a similar case that was subsequently overturned at the Court of Appeal.

The council contended that this had caused the inspector to make the wrong decision. However judge Sir Duncan Ouseley rejected that argument.

He wrote in his judgement: ‘Had the inspector applied the judgment of the Court of Appeal, it is highly likely that the outcome would have been the same because his substantive evaluation of the issues would have been the same, leading to the same outcome.’

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