Help us stop Derby’s destructive A38 road expansion

by Stop the A38 Expansion Group

Help us stop Derby’s destructive A38 road expansion

by Stop the A38 Expansion Group
Stop the A38 Expansion Group
Case Owner
Our group includes local residents directly affected by the A38 Derby Junctions road scheme. One local is seeking legal advice to see if the Dept. for Transport's consent to the expansion was legal.
on 27th January 2021
pledged of £20,000 stretch target from 387 pledges
Stop the A38 Expansion Group
Case Owner
Our group includes local residents directly affected by the A38 Derby Junctions road scheme. One local is seeking legal advice to see if the Dept. for Transport's consent to the expansion was legal.

Latest: March 28, 2022

The campaign to Stop the A38 expansion continues and we need your help

We have another Crowd Justice page. Please help by donating to and / or sharing this link: 

Thank you so much to everyone w…

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Who are we?

We are a group of concerned Derby residents connected to the Stop the A38 Expansion Group. We are seeking legal advice to find out whether the Department for Transport’s decision to approve the environmentally damaging A38 Derby Junctions road scheme was lawful.

What's the problem?

The Government has made an irrational and dangerous decision to approve the A38 Derby Junctions road scheme, which will lead to unsafe levels of pollution and will contribute to climate change, as well as destroying precious wildlife habitats.

This will effectively turn this section of road into a six-lane motorway which will in due course fill with traffic as all motorways do and will also bring more traffic through Derby, drastically reducing our air quality and increasing noise.


In a nutshell

  • It will bring more deadly air pollution to the city
  • More cars and lorries will lead to even more traffic misery
  • Hundreds of trees will be felled at Kingsway, Markeaton and Little Eaton
  • Parts of public space in Markeaton Park and Mackworth Park will be taken
  • A "staggering amount" of precious wildlife habitat will be lost
  • It will lead to more flooding in Derby
  • There could be an impact on jobs in Derby-based businesses
  • It will cause disruption to communities living near Markeaton, Kingsway and Little Eaton roundabouts
  • There'll be an increase in noise pollution during construction and afterwards
  • It's a waste of £250 million
  • We're in a climate emergency!

Why does it matter? 

The construction works alone will create a terrifying 131,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in our city at a time of climate emergency – when we need to cut carbon emissions by 13% each year.

The road works will last for four years, causing traffic chaos and misery not only along the A38, but also in the city centre when traffic diverts through residential streets and past schools and nurseries. This will drastically increase pollution and reduce air quality in these areas, threatening the health of many children, as well as adults

Trees will be lost (including one that's 300 years old!)

Construction will see the felling of hundreds of mature trees, the destruction of irreplaceable wildlife habitats and the removal of parts of our public open spaces gifted to the people of Derby by the Mundy family. One of the trees is a veteran oak called Middle Oak, which is about 300 years old and would have been around when Bonnie Prince Charlie was in Derby during the Jacobite Rebellion.

Homes will be lost, devastating families

Several families will also lose their homes as the Government is using compulsory purchase orders to evict residents and demolish their houses to make way for the road. Imagine being told you only have a few weeks to move out of your home. That’s distressing enough in itself - but during a pandemic? It’s even more stressful for these families and is a cruel and heartless move by the Government.

And what for?

Expanding the A38 is unnecessary as traffic runs smoothly through this area most of the time. Speeding up the passage of lorries will only serve to encourage more to use this route when there are good alternatives such as the A50, which avoids towns. It is also totally irresponsible and dangerous when the Government knows that pollution kills and Derby has already been identified as having unsafe levels of pollution at sites in the inner city. Road traffic pollution also causes long-term disabilities for many people, especially the young, the elderly and those with underlying conditions. It’s an invisible killer.

We're in a climate emergency

At a time when Derby City Council and the Government have declared a climate emergency, and we have so little time to massively reduce our emissions to avert catastrophe, it makes absolutely no sense to remove trees, wildlife habitats and green spaces to make way for roads. We need trees! They help to mitigate the effects of climate change and improve air quality, too.

This is urgent

The Government and Derby City Council are prioritising shaving a couple of minutes off journey times and the interests of developers over our health, over global warming, over green spaces and over wildlife. They should be doing everything they can to reverse or slow down climate change and reduce pollution. They should not be spending £250 million in Derby (and £90 billion nationally over the next 15 years) on expanding roads that will help accelerate us towards a climate catastrophe and will reduce the quality of life of many of the city’s residents. To stand any chance of limiting the increase in global temperature to 1.5°C and averting runaway global warming we need to stop building roads and stop increasing road traffic now. We have very little time left!

How we'll use the funds

Please, please help us by donating whatever you can and also by sharing this page. Our initial target of £4,000 will pay for specialist lawyers to review the legal basis of the Secretary of State’s decision and find out if we have the grounds to proceed to a judicial review (more funds will be needed for this) so that we can stop this dreadful scheme before it’s too late - for the city of Derby and the planet. Please give whatever you can and tell as many people as you can. Thank you so, so much! 

More about the A38 Derby Junctions road scheme

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Update 5

Stop the A38 Expansion Group

March 28, 2022

The campaign to Stop the A38 expansion continues and we need your help

We have another Crowd Justice page. Please help by donating to and / or sharing this link: 

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported our campaign to stop the A38 expansion. Because of your help, we were able to successfully halt the A38 expansion with a legal challenge last year, and the development consent order (DCO) was quashed by the Courts. 

However, National Highways are still trying to push this scheme through – even though the latest IPCC report stated that any further delay in global action to cut carbon pollution “will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.” 

Yet National Highways are trying to claim that Net Zero carbon targets do not apply to their polluting and destructive road building. They believe they are above the law and are trying to cheat the laws of physics. Their disregard for carbon emissions, pollution and the destruction of nature that their roads cause shows that they just do not care. They are sacrificing our children's futures for more tarmac and traffic. 

Road traffic miles must be reduced to meet climate targets (electric vehicles won't be enough) so the UK Government should be heavily investing in public transport and active travel. Yet instead they are wasting billions on new roads and road expansions which will increase traffic and carbon pollution. 

Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, has asked for information from both National Highways and "interested parties" (such as our campaign group) to submit evidence so that he can consider granting another development consent order to allow the A38 expansion to go ahead. 

We submitted representations in October 2021 and we are currently challenging the Secretary of State's decision-making process via the planning inspectorate website. 

We continue to argue that we are in a climate and ecological emergency and that wasting £250 million on widening a road that will fell thousands of trees, remove large amounts of precious wildlife habitat and increase traffic makes absolutely no sense and is unlawful. It’s also an insulting waste of public money during a cost of living crisis!

The carbon costs of the scheme have increased, which requires the benefit/cost ratio to be revaluated. Yet National Highways have failed to do this.  They've also failed to properly explain how they have assessed the cumulative carbon impacts of the scheme – these were the grounds they conceded on in our original legal challenge in 2021.

With the net zero strategy's carbon targets we have a strong argument to stop the A38 expansion. We can win. However, we need to hire legal experts again to help us form and present these arguments. We need to raise £7,500 (we have already raised over £5,000).


Please help by donating to and / or sharing this link:


Many other groups campaigning against road schemes and harmful development plans are watching the A38 Derby Junctions road scheme closely. Our legal challenge has already inspired other climate-related legal challenges and is forcing developers to properly consider climate impacts and the law. If we are successful, we could prevent even more carbon pollution and nature destruction and force the Government to take climate action seriously. 

Please donate if you can. Your donation, no matter how small, will help us put a stop to the destructive A38 expansion for good. If you can’t donate, please consider sharing the link with your friends, family and on your social media. 


We are so grateful for your support.


Thank you.

Update 4

Stop the A38 Expansion Group

March 23, 2021

Grant Shapps admits Derby A38 expansion approval was unlawful!

We have some great news for you! Transport Minister Grant Shapps has admitted that he acted unlawfully when he approved the A38 Derby Junctions road scheme in January. The High Court will now quash the planning permission for the scheme.

Shapps conceded that his decision to approve the road expansion breached Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations by failing to provide a reasoned conclusion on the development’s cumulative climate impacts with other road schemes in meeting the UK’s national climate targets.

The High Court will now quash the Development Consent Order and the Department for Transport (DfT) will pay the legal costs. We’ll continue to monitor the situation carefully and hold the DfT to account on any further decisions in relation to the A38.

The £250 million for this road should now be invested in sustainable forms of transport to reduce CO2 emissions, congestion and air pollution while conserving Derby's green spaces.
We’re in a climate emergency and ecological crisis and urgently need to cut CO2 emissions and stop destroying nature. The climate crisis is the greatest threat that humanity has ever faced, so why are the Government and local councils are still failing to act? When will they stop prioritising short-term economic growth over the future of our planet?

We cannot thank the kind and generous people like you enough. It’s because of people like you that we were able to fund this legal challenge. We are so grateful that you donated to and shared our Crowd Justice page. The comments you made on the page really spurred us on. You made a difference. We really couldn’t have done it without you.

We’ll use the funds we’ve raised so far, thanks to your generous donations, towards further legal advice in monitoring the situation going forwards.  So watch this space….

Update 3

Stop the A38 Expansion Group

March 13, 2021

Prevent the felling trees during the legal challenge

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your donations and support for this legal challenge to stop the A38 expansion. It's amazing to see how many people deeply care about the climate emergency, air quality, people's homes and protecting trees and wildlife. 
We've now raised nearly £11K ! Please keep up the great work and keep sharing the Crowd Justice page with your contacts. 

Legal Challenge Update: 

The court papers were filed by Richard Buxton Solicitors on the 19 Feb 2021. There will then be around four to six weeks from the filing date until we hear further news on the court case. We can keep fundraising throughout the legal challenge process. 

Open letter:

Despite the judicial review proceedings, Highways England still plans to fell trees without a TPO (tree protection order). The majority of the 100,000 trees spread across Kingsway, Markeaton and Little Eaton do not have TPOs.

We have published an open letter asking Highways England not to cut down any trees or destroy any wildlife habitats for the A38 expansion until we know the outcome of a legal challenge against the road scheme.

Bulldozer Pledge:

Tree felling work is is expected to begin in late March despite the legal challenge against the A38 expansion and the requests to pause work.

So Extinction Rebellion Derby, who are part of the Stop the A38 campaign alliance, have set up a bulldozer pledge for those who are willing to engage in peaceful, non-violent direction action to prevent the destruction of wildlife habitats and trees. 

This is about good people breaking bad laws (and in any case we believe the A38 expansion is unlawful). Sign up here.

Road building in the news!

We all know road building is a ridiculous and harmful waste of money during a climate and ecological emergency. It's been revealed that Grant Shapps and the Department of Transport knew this too but have pushed ahead with Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) anyway.

Other legal challenges:

We are not alone in challenging the Government's road building plans. Below are other legal challenges against UK road schemes. 

Stay in touch

Keep up to date with the campaign via the Stop the A38 Expansion Facebook group.
Update 2

Stop the A38 Expansion Group

Feb. 13, 2021

100,000 trees to be destroyed in A38 expansion!

A member of the Stop the A38 Expansion Group, who used to work as a gardener for Derby City Council, has estimated that the planned A38 expansion will cause the destruction of around 100,000 trees.

Simon Beavis worked for the Council in the 1980s and planted some of the trees which are to be felled. These trees were themselves planted as mitigation for those that were lost when the A38 through Derby was first built.

Highways England has never counted the number of trees it is condemning, so Mr Beavis decided to visit the areas affected and work it out for himself. He set out 20 square metre grids at various places along the route and counted the number of trees in the grid, then scaled up to the total area and calculated that around 100,000 would be chopped down.

He is sad and angry, after watching these trees grow and flourish, that they are to be ripped out to be replaced with tiny saplings, all to reduce people’s journey times by a few minutes in rush hour.

The trees to be felled currently support tens of thousands of birds, mammals, butterflies and countless other creatures, as well as absorb pollution and carbon dioxide. They include the much-loved 300-year-old veteran oak that has been named 'Middle Oak'.

The Planning Inspectorate admits that there will be adverse effects to nature in the short- and medium-term, in particular as a result of the removal of local wildlife sites along the route and the veteran oak tree. Its report states that the loss of these weigh significantly against approval being made for the scheme.

Here’s a list of the trees that are to be cut down:

  • All the trees at Kingsway Island and its approaches from the south
  • The trees alongside the boundary of Mackworth Park
  • Virtually all the trees on either side of the road from Kingsway island to Markeaton
  • All the trees on the central reservation
  • Nearly all the trees on the southbound side from Abbey Hill roundabout to Little Eaton roundabout
  • At Little Eaton roundabout there will be a large area for the construction compound and so most of the woodland on the Breadsall side will be destroyed

Trees are so important – for people, for wildlife and for cleaner air. They also help to combat climate change. The Woodland Trust states that a hectare of trees can soak up 400 tonnes of carbon, but the Department for Transport wants 100,000 trees to be chopped down for a scheme that will itself create 131,000 tonnes of carbon! This decision is dangerous, irresponsible and totally irrational!

We desperately need to raise money if we are to stand any chance of stopping this destructive road being built. Please give whatever you can – even if you have already donated. Tell as many people as you can and ask them to donate, too. Please share this page far and wide! We appreciate it so much. Thank you!

Update 1

Stop the A38 Expansion Group

Feb. 4, 2021

Legal challenge launched!

We are delighted that we have raised over £6,000 in just a few days! This shows the strength of opposition to the A38 expansion in Derby. Thank you so much to the amazing people who have donated so far. We really appreciate your generosity and your concern about the environment. Thanks to you, we have been able to pay for specialist lawyers to review whether the Department of Transport’s decision to approve the A38 Derby Junctions road scheme was lawful. Our lawyers believe there are grounds to challenge the decision and are proceeding with this.

We now need to urgently achieve our target of £20,000 so that we can continue to a judicial review. It’s crucial that we raise this amount as the planned scheme will increase pollution, reduce air quality, encourage more traffic, increase congestion in the long run, fell hundreds of trees and destroy precious wildlife habitat – all this in a climate emergency! Once it’s concreted over, there’s no going back. We have to stop this scheme before the damage is done.

Top climate scientist, Corinne Le Quéré, has warned that building new roads “would be very detrimental” to the environment and that emission levels could be much higher than pre-Covid levels if the Government prioritises the economy over climate change. She said that we need to protect existing trees while also planting more and restoring areas of nature, but the Government is doing the opposite. It is recklessly spending billions of pounds on building new roads, emitting hundreds of thousands of tons of CO2 into our atmosphere, worsening the climate crisis, felling trees and destroying nature in the process. We can’t let this continue.

Simon Alcock, of ClientEarth, said: “Ministers seem unwilling to find money to protect children from traffic pollution around schools but are happy to spend billions on roads.”

If we are successful in fighting this new road scheme, it would have a huge, national knock-on effect in helping to stop other polluting new roads being built around the country. This would make a massive difference in helping the UK keep to its carbon reduction pledges – which are very unlikely to be achieved as things stand.

Please help us raise our target amount by donating whatever you can – even if you’ve already donated - and by sharing this page far and wide! Please ask your family, friends and colleagues to donate, too. It’s absolutely vital that we raise these funds – it’s the only chance we have of stopping this destructive road being built.

We can’t do this without you!

Thank you.

Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet and never before have we had the power to do something about that.” 
Sir David Attenborough

“Surely, we all have a responsibility to care for our planet. The future of humanity and, indeed, all life on earth now depends on us.” 
Sir David Attenborough

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