• Save Rimrose Valley

Highways England fails to tell the full story

Save Rimrose Valley is strongly criticising Highways England’s [1] press release about the judgment on the consultation process for a new port access road [2]. It believes Highways England could be misleading the public in suggesting that it has been vindicated in its plans to build a road through Rimrose Valley.


Within hours of the ruling being announced, Tim Gamon of Highways England was talking about how they want to 'work closely with the community'.

The details within the ruling tell a different story. Mr Justice Kerr conceded from the outset that “the court’s role is limited to adjudicating on whether or not the law has been observed in the decision making process.” [3] In other words, even though the letter of the law may have been followed, he was unable to comment on the political aspect of the scheme and the decisions made by those in power which have led to this situation.


These include the amount of money assigned to the project and the subsequent decision to offer just two, terrible options during the public consultation.


Speaking on behalf of the campaign, Stuart Bennett said:


“It is extremely important that the public is aware that plans for a road through Rimrose Valley did not receive a ringing endorsement as a result of the Judicial Review. The case was brought on quite a narrow, legal argument and the motives and morality of the scheme were not under scrutiny.


“Highways England is now claiming that ‘The new dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley will be transformational’


“It certainly will.


“Green space? Gone. Clean air? Gone. Links between communities? Gone. Tranquillity and respite from the hectic pace of life in our heavily built-up area? Gone. A safe, traffic-free space in which children can play and people can walk, run, or cycle? Gone. Wildlife and ecologically important habitats for countless species? Destroyed.


“Yet Highways England has the cheek to suggest that the park’s facilities will actually be improved. Do they think we’re stupid? It’s bad enough they are destroying a much loved green space but now they are insulting our intelligence as well.


“The problem is; Highways England’s assessment process ignores key costs and benefits which would justify spending more money which would then make other options, such as a tunnel, a viable proposition.


“We are calling on people from across the city and beyond to get involved in our campaign to stop this road to get a better deal, not just for Sefton, but for Liverpool as well. Follow us on social media, where you can learn more about our plans, and our own “alternative” consultation [4].”


For more details on this and on how to support the campaign, follow us on social media:


Facebook: www.facebook.com/SaveRimroseValley Twitter: www.twitter.com/saverimrose

References

[1] Link to Highways England’s Press Release:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/sefton-community-urged-to-get-involved-in-a5036-consultation

[2] Sefton Council sought leave for Judicial Review of the consultation process that Highways England ran which offered local people no real choice at all. The judgment was handed down on 16 November, by Mr Justice Kerr.

[3] Link to High Court Ruling PDF

https://www.saverimrosevalley.org/sefton-council-v-highways-england-r

[4] Link to Save Rimrose Valley Consultation:

https://www.saverimrosevalley.org/campaign-news/what-s-your-preferred-option

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