Taxpayers paid price of 
M6 link road delays

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This column comes with a caveat which is that my firm has not profited from the M6 link road saga. I say this because sometimes I can feel a bit shifty about admitting to being a lawyer.

Take the M6 link road 
saga and the numerous 
times it boomeranged in 
and out of court before the final, final verdict last week that the erstwhile opponents Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe (TSLM) had no more grounds for appeal and the road could go ahead.

I wonder how much exactly the whole legal process cost?

A lot of money is the answer.

But it only cost as much 
as both sides were willing to pay to see it through to the end.

I regret to say the end stage of the saga gives the impression that lawyers will sit back and take the fees even if a case is hopeless.

Certainly Councillor John Fillis, the County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, feels the final appeal by TSLM was pure delay tactics, given the court cearing before that had been robustly in favour of the road going ahead.

However, others will say that due process had to be adhered to and all avenues of appeal gone down.

If clients are willing to 
pay, who can blame lawyers for charging for their 
time?

However, in this case we have all paid the price of the delay generally because the other party in court was Lancashire County Council, who say the appeal process has cost them around £2.6million.

That’s a lot of money that could have gone into other projects, like local schools. And how did TSLM pay their legal costs?

Well according to this paper the ethical cosmetics company Lush bankrolled the final appeal.

That’s the company that have a shop on Horse Shoe Corner in Lancaster selling smelly soaps and the like. So it would seem that Lush are flush!

But Lancashire County Council are not so flush, thanks Lush and others.

So maybe think of that when you go Christmas shopping. I know smelly soap is off my list this year.