A High Court Judge has deferred his decision on whether Highways England failed in its duty to present a tunnel option to the public as part of its consultation on proposed solutions to address the Port of Liverpool’s expansion .
The Government Agency’s plans to build a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley Country Park were put under scrutiny after Sefton Council brought about a Judicial Review in support of the communities who will be most affected, on the grounds that the decision making process was flawed, with more progressive road congestion plans discarded without due process or sufficient consideration.
Stuart Bennett of the Save Rimrose Valley Campaign said:
“The public consultation was a sham and offered us - the public who fund Highways England and its road-building activities - no real choice.
“We appreciate Sefton Council’s stance for bringing this case to court, for standing up for the communities who would be impacted by the dreadful plans proposed so far. We believe that Highways England must be ordered to go away and come up with an acceptable solution which does not involve making a bad route worse, does not further reduce the quality of the air we breathe and does not remove our essential green space, the last in the area.
"Sefton Council says that a tunnel needs to be top of the list if they are going to insist on building a bigger road to the port. We agree, however we are also calling for ALL progressive solutions to be considered. If this costs significantly more money, then so be it. Similar schemes in the South have enormous budgets . Why are we worth less here in the North?
“More widely, the Government needs to invest in moving trucks and containers out of the port by rail freight and reducing traffic levels on the A5036 by investing in local and sustainable options, such as better public transport and other schemes to address congestion.
“We have a real opportunity to find acceptable and less damaging solutions if we work together. The will of the Government and Highways England just needs to catch up with the 21stCentury and to halt this madness. We are also calling on our Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, to break his silence on this issue and to speak up for what’s right, and if the project has to go back to the drawing board we will be calling on our Metro Mayor to establish a working group to examine all options, in which the communities are properly represented.
“We will keep fighting until we secure the protection of Rimrose Valley, the air we breathe and the space we live in; not just for today, but also for future generations to enjoy.”
For more details on this and on how to support the campaign, follow us on social media:
 Details and results of Highways England’s public consultation, in which the bypass through Rimrose Valley was the least favoured option:
 Details of the £6bn Lower Thames Crossing, in which a tunnel solution is heralded as being environmentally sound and sympathetic to the public’s health: