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New £250m super road through Rimrose Valley to ease Port of Liverpool traffic

Highways England announces new super road from Switch Island to Port of Liverpool

Highways England has decided to build a £250 million road through a Merseyside park to try and cope with the surge in traffic bound for the £400m port of Liverpool.

Highways England (HE) has been consulting local opinion on how to manage the port-bound traffic. The options came down to making improvements to Church Road, Litherland, or building a new highway through Rimrose Valley park.

The Friends of Church Road have argued that the A5036 was already heavily overloaded with lorries. Meanwhile The Friends of Rimrose Valley said a new road through the area would ruin a valued green space.

Highways England has now said that it has decided to build a three mile long dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley park in Litherland, rather than to make improvements to nearby Church Road.

The bypass will serve the existing port as well as the new £300 million deep-water container terminal, which is expected to triple the port’s volume of goods by 2030.

A spokesman for HE told the ECHO that the new road would run from Switch Island to Princess Way.

A new roundabout, controlled by traffic lights, will also be built at the start of the new dual carriageway at Broom’s Cross Road.

 

Tim Gamon from HE said to the ECHO : “The new bypass will take the existing traffic away from the A5036 as well as managing the significant increase in vehicle numbers that are anticipated with the port’s growth. We’re also committed to making improvements to the existing A5036 as part of the scheme that will benefit people who live and work in the area.”

Work on the new road is set to begin in spring 2020.

Earlier this year it emerged that Sefton Council opposed both options and had urged HE to consider building a tunnel between the port and Switch Island.

Campaigners say this announcement can only be described as a declaration of intended vandalism that the Government should be ashamed of, taking the last remaining decent, open green space – our essential green space – away from the people of Sefton.

Rimrose Valley has been here for hundreds of years and the government should have no right to take it away. We owe it to our children and future generations to look after what little green space we have left.

They are calling on the Secretary of State for Transport to consider whether he really wants such a travesty to occur under his watch and to intervene and stop this madness before it's too late. There are other options that must be explored and a road is the most short sighted and worst possible option.

The people of Sefton stand firm against these plans.  A road simply must not be allowed to happen and we will fight it by all legal means available. 

• As a green transit route, children and adults alike use Rimrose Valley to get to and from school or work on foot or bike

• Rimrose Valley provides a space of quiet tranquillity and wellbeing in an otherwise heavily urbanised area; essential for the mind, body and spirit of the people

• Containing two wetland areas of local biological interest, Rimrose Valley is an outstanding educational resource, enabling children and adults to connect with the natural environment

• Rimrose Valley is a source of essential clean air – filtering out pollutants that are so excessive and concerning

The situation we find ourselves in is the result of a catalogue of bad decisions and terrible planning over the years.  The challenge of how to transit cargo to and from The Port of Liverpool should have been identified and tackled at the outset, before the plans to develop The Port of Liverpool were approved. We reject the ‘carrot’ of mass job creation as false. It is merely spin, designed to cheat and manipulate us all into allowing this madness to prevail.  Where are the hundreds of promised new jobs?  They are nowhere to be seen.

The authorities can find better ways than road building when they want to in London and throughout other European cities.  We’ve been told the matter comes down to money and a tunnel has been dismissed out of hand without due investigation and consideration. Lack of funds is not an acceptable excuse; our health and wellbeing is not for sale and cannot be traded with to save funds.  If the government cannot afford to transit goods to and from the docks, that should have been thought of before the port expansion was approved, it simply cannot be done on the cheap at the expense of the health and wellbeing of the people who live here. The people simply cannot take the fall for terrible planning and bad decisions.

We, the people of Sefton, are standing up for Rimrose Valley and calling on the Secretary of State for Transport to intervene and put an end to this madness and mindless vandalism. To allow this to continue will be very damaging to our communities, our health and our future.

Rimrose Valley Friends group can be found here
Sign the petition here