Eco-activist Dr Andrew Boswell was branded a "hypocrite" by a senior Norfolk MP after he told this newspaper he drives a gas-guzzling petrol car.

MP George Freeman launched the attack on Dr Boswell after the campaigner lost his latest challenge to stop the dualling of the A47.

It can also be revealed that despite legal bills of £70,000 in his fight against the work, the former UEA scientist has not put a penny of his own money towards the challenge.

Instead, he has raised all the money from members of the public through crowdfunding.

National Highways believe the delays caused by the legal bid - which was thrown out earlier this week at the Court of Appeal - have already cost the taxpayers tens of millions of pounds.

Mr Freeman has branded Dr Boswell a "villain" for his constant legal challenges to the projects and said the eco-campaigner was "holding Norfolk to ransom".

Eastern Daily Press: Preparatory work on the A47 ahead of the dualling schemePreparatory work on the A47 ahead of the dualling scheme (Image: Mike Page)

The Mid Norfolk MP said: "It's outrageous, his hypocrisy is extraordinary. He's not the one sitting in congestion, watching people die in car crashes.

"The judgement could not be clearer that there are no grounds that this has legal legs.

"He might not be paying for this legal game but the people of Norfolk are. We're all paying, and he's the one person who isn't.

"He is not acting on behalf of the people of Norfolk. He's not a hero and he's becoming a villain."

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Despite being told by judges that his case had "no logical basis", Dr Boswell is now considering taking the case to the Supreme Court.

Eastern Daily Press: Mid Norfolk MP George FreemanMid Norfolk MP George Freeman (Image: George Freeman/UK Parliment)

Mr Freeman said that he would be approaching the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper, to urge that the long-delayed schemes get under way despite the threat of further legal challenges.

Dr Boswell, a former Green city and county councillor, told this newspaper that he drives a VW Golf, rather than an eco-friendly electric car.

He also confessed that he did not spend any of his own money on the campaign against the road schemes. "It was entirely funded by the generosity of thousands of people," he added.

The projects involve dualling just over 1.6 miles of the road between Blofield and North Burlingham - considered an accident blackspot by police - along with 5.5 miles between Easton and North Tuddenham.

Plans for Thickthorn include a new slip road off the A11 northbound, which will take motorists beneath both roads before re-joining traffic on the A47 heading towards Great Yarmouth - eliminating the need to use the roundabout.

Preliminary work has already started on the schemes, which are intended to reduce congestion, improve safety and create an economic boost for the region.

Dr Boswell, who has unsuccessfully stood for parliament three times, lost at the High Court in May 2023, but took the case to the Court of Appeal and a hearing was held in January, with the ruling issued this week.Eastern Daily Press: Dr Andrew BoswellDr Andrew Boswell (Image: Andrew Boswell)

His legal cases rest on the argument that their cumulative impact on carbon emissions has not been fully considered, but have been dismissed by judges as having "an air of complete unreality".

"I believe this case is of national interest," he said. "There is so much hype around climate change but our actual policies are a shambles.

"I am a scientist and all of my work is done on that basis. I am not doing anything just to be a contrarian.

"The cost of climate change is greater than the cost of this case. There is big money needed to deal with coastal erosion, flooding, and other issues that make it impossible for people to live.

"I have given up three years of my life - that is part of the cost of this battle."

Dr Boswell refers to himself as an 'independent scientist' and has had an extensive career in academia, with a degree in chemistry and a doctorate in biophysics.