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A protest campaign over poor walking and cycling safety

Effective road safety planning: what should be happening

What the vision should be
Road safety planning and policing: what we have a right to expect
Poor Merseyside road casualties should be considered
Other relevant information
Past strategies
Options that should be considered

Merseyside road safety failures

Merseyside / national road safety failures

Merseyside road safety concerns

So-Mo project on pedestrian casualties

Merseyside road safety improvements

Taking action on poor road safety

Current campaigns





What constitutes proper consultation
In proper consultation, the decision-makers recognise that they are fallible, and so explain what they have done and what they are planning to do in enough detail for people to check that there are no errors and that no improvements are possible.

Legal requirements

There are legal requirements for proper consultation from the Court of Appeal [1] [2] known as the Gunning principles. The nature of consultation was defined by the judgement of Lord Woolf [1], setting out four essential features:
108. It is common ground that, whether or not consultation of interested parties and the public is a legal requirement, if it is embarked upon it must be carried out properly. To be proper,
  • consultation must be undertaken at a time when proposals are still at a formative stage;
  • it must include sufficient reasons for particular proposals to allow those consulted to give intelligent consideration and an intelligent response;
  • adequate time must be given for this purpose;
  • and the product of consultation must be conscientiously taken into account when the ultimate decision is taken
( R v Brent LBC ex parte Gunning [1986] 84 LGR 168).

UK Government guidance

The UK Government has also issued guidance on consultation that Government departments and other public bodies should follow [3].

This includes
  • "Engagement should begin early in policy development when the policy is still under consideration and views can genuinely be taken into account."
  • "Every effort should be made to make available the evidence base at an early stage to enable contestability and challenge".

Other sources

Clive Sheldon QC has provided a detailed account of the law [4].


[1] Lord Woolf MR in R. v. North and East Devon Health Authority, ex parte Coughlan (1999) EWCA Civ 1871 http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/1999/1871.html

[2] The keys to consultation (2011) http://www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7887%3Athe-keys-to-consultation&catid=59%3Agovernance-a-risk-articles&Itemid=27

[3] Consultation Principles: Guidance (last updated 2013) UK Cabinet Office https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/consultation-principles-guidance, or from here

[4] Consultation and Legitimate Expectations (2012) Clive Sheldon QC http://www.adminlaw.org.uk/docs/18%20January%202012%20Sheldon.pdf

Last updated: 12 Jun 2018