A climate activist whose crowd-funded court battle to halt upgrade work on the A47 has cost taxpayers tens of millions of pounds has launched yet another legal challenge.

Dr Andrew Boswell has instructed solicitors to apply for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in an effort to stop two sections of the road being dualled and a larger roundabout being created near Norwich.

He argues the environmental impact of the projects has not been properly considered.

However, he has already had his case thrown out by the Court of Appeal, in humiliating fashion with judges saying it had “an air of complete unreality” and “no logical basis”.Dereham Times: Dr Andrew Boswell has launched a final legal challenge over A47 schemes in NorfolkDr Andrew Boswell has launched a final legal challenge over A47 schemes in Norfolk (Image: Dan Grimmer)

Preliminary work has already started on the schemes, which planners said would reduce congestion and improve safety, as well as boosting the local economy.

But delays caused by his legal challenges have already set back the roadworks by more than 20 months and added tens of millions to the cost.

His latest challenge has prompted anger from those waiting for the work to go ahead.

Kay Mason Billig, leader of Norfolk County Council said she was "exasperated" and said Dr Boswell should accept he has "lost his fight".



The 28-day deadline for Dr Boswell to apply to the Supreme Court, after the High Court and the Court of Appeal both rejected his argument the government had not properly considered the cumulative impact of three A47 schemes, ended yesterday.

The legal team for Dr Boswell, who has crowdfunded almost £70,000 for his legal battle, submitted their bid for permission to appeal on the final day.

Dereham Times: The A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham is due to be dualledThe A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham is due to be dualled (Image: Mike Page)

Matthew McFeeley, solicitor at Richard Buxton Solicitors, said: "We are filing an application in the Supreme Court seeking permission to appeal on behalf of Dr Boswell. 

"Despite the government promoting a number of highways schemes as a combined 'A47 improvement programme', it is undisputed that each scheme's impacts were only ever assessed individually.

"The Court of Appeal’s judgement effectively carves out climate impacts as not requiring cumulative assessment, an exception which does not appear in the rules.

"This has broad implications for infrastructure projects and their compatibility with the government's climate commitments.

"This is an issue of wide public importance and we are therefore asking the Supreme Court to weigh in."

Dereham Times: The A47 between Easton and North TuddenhamThe A47 between Easton and North Tuddenham (Image: Highways England)

READ MORE: MP George Freeman slams A47 campaigner Dr Andrew Boswell



The challenge is over decisions by transport secretaries to permit dualling of the A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham, Easton to North Tuddenham and the revamp of the Thickthorn roundabout near Norwich.

Preliminary work has started on the schemes, but cannot start in earnest while legal action continues.

National Highways, the government-owned company responsible for the roads, said Dr Boswell's legal action had added millions of pounds to the cost of the project and delayed the completion of the schemes by more than 20 months.

Dereham Times: Norfolk County Council leader Kay Mason BilligNorfolk County Council leader Kay Mason Billig (Image: Norfolk County Council)

And Mrs Mason Billig said the latest legal threat would delay work further.

"I am exasperated. This will just mean further delays and the potential for further costs and this is taxpayers' money we are talking about," she added.

"We need to get on with it before the cost goes up even more. I think he just needs to accept that he has lost this one.

"I understand Dr Boswell is enthusiastic and committed about his point of view, but I believe the majority of people in Norfolk do not agree and want this work to be done.

"The law is the law and he is entitled to take this action, but judges have said time and again that his case does not have merit.

"We fight very hard to bring money to the county to improve infrastructure and safety, while boosting the economy.

"If this is the way we are going to behave in Norfolk, how are we going to get more schemes done?

"I know he has been crowdfunding his costs and I hope people will see that this is a lost cause and will not back him."

Dereham Times: The A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton is due to be dualledThe A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton is due to be dualled (Image: Mike Page)

READ MORE: A47 dualling study found fall in vehicles using the road



Dr Boswell, a former Green city and county councillor lost at the High Court in May 2023, but took the case to the Court of Appeal and a hearing was held in January.

Judges issued their ruling last month, saying his argument had “an air of complete unreality”, with “no logical basis”.Dereham Times: Thickthorn roundaboutThickthorn roundabout (Image: Mike Page)

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. If permission to appeal is refused, the legal battle by Dr Boswell, who has unsuccessfully stood for parliament three times, will be over.

If granted, his solicitors will be able to make a final argument on his behalf.




A month ago, in this very space, we remarked that Dr Andrew Boswell can hardly say he has not had his day in court.

That was the day after the Court of Appeal rejected his legal challenge against three improvement projects on the A47.

The judges did so in brutal style, telling him his arguments, had "no logical basis" and "an air of complete unreality".

Despite that withering assessment it seems Dr Boswell does indeed want another day in court. He has instructed lawyers to try to take his case to the Supreme Court.

Dr Boswell's case is crowdfunded, backed by generous and passionate people who are persuaded by his arguments.

His legal opponents are also crowdfunded - by people who have less choice in the matter, the Great British taxpayer.

And it is not just the legal costs of this case that they must foot the bill for.

Far outweighing that is the cost that this ongoing lawfare has had on the projects themselves.

Inflation means the delays have added tens of millions of pounds to the work, which - let's remember - are to improve safety, reduce congestion and energise the economy in a region of notoriously poor transport links.

Yes, this country must limit its carbon emissions. But - as we said here a month ago - its prospects will not be helped by impoverishing our region or downgrading our infrastructure, which is what the effect of not carrying out this work will be.

There is an election coming up later this year.

If the former councillor wants to truly make his case, he might have greater authority with an electoral mandate, rather than a crowd-funded account.

Having stood unsuccessfully for Westminster three times, his track record at the ballot box is as patchy as it is in the court room, but that hasn't stopped him.

So we suggest he stand as an MP.

In many ways, his doggedness - and his motives - are admirable.

Yet his current course is hitting us all in the pocket and holding back our region.