Can new Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardman help our cause?
You may remember that, following Chris Boardman's appointment to Active Travel Commissioner, we wrote to him to make him aware of our campaign. We did so to highlight the importance of Rimrose Valley as an active travel oasis in the north of our city.
Cyclists, runners and walkers alike use it on a daily basis to get from A to B.
We wrote to Chris via the contact form of his website.
The response was received from the Department for Transport's Active Travel Division. Happily, this was more positive than our recent letter from the same Department's Strategic Roads Division!
We sincerely hope this opens the door to a visit from Chris in the future.
We also hope that the Active Travel Division is given powers to push back on destructive road proposals and isn't simply 'consulted' on how to mitigate the impact they have.
In the meantime, you can read our initial letter and the DfT's response below.
Congratulations on your new role with Active Travel England!
I couldn't think of a better person to lead this, nor a more important time.
I read that part of your role will be "inspecting the standards of local highways and ensuring that major planning applications cater for the interests of cyclists and walkers."
As a local lad, I'd like to draw your attention to a major planning application happening in the north of Liverpool, the Port of Liverpool Access Road.
This threatens to destroy an essential active travel 'oasis' - Rimrose Valley Country Park. This offers walking and cycling without the threat of traffic/fumes and is a truly 'green' active travel corridor used for commuting, visiting families and walking to and from school.
This government road proposal would sever the park in two, sever the communities which surround it and negatively impact our area for generations to come.
This is why it is opposed by the local authority (Sefton Council) and both local MPs. We are working hard to get our Metro Mayor to join this opposition.
National Highways will no doubt have consulted with the likes of Sustrans and be building in plans for cycle lanes, footbridges and underpasses, but what remains of the park would make it a far less attractive proposition for active travel - forcing people into cars.
This link illustrates the proposed route:
However, in order to get a feel for the park and its relevance to active travel, I wanted to invite you to come and see it for yourself in order to understand the impact this would have.
If that's something you're willing to do, it would be massively appreciated.
Stu Bennett (Rimrose Valley Friends & Save Rimrose Valley)
Response from the DfT