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Highways England statement on road contained misleading information

It is claimed that the recent statement issued by Highways England [1] confirming the huge delay to its plans to build a road through Rimrose Valley Country Park contained misleading information.

Giving its reasons for the delay, the Government-owned company cited Sefton Council’s judicial review, stating that the court ruled in favour of the preferred route option’.

The Save Rimrose Valley campaign now believes that this wording has the potential to mislead and even influence public opinion and has called for Highways England to issue a correction.

Speaking on behalf of the campaign, Stuart Bennett explained:

“The judicial review brought by Sefton Council was purely on the grounds that it believed Highways England had a duty to consult the public on a tunnel option. In his judgement [2], Mr Justice Kerr ruled simply that Highways England was not obliged to do so.

“This is very different from the court ‘ruling in favour of the preferred option’, as Highways England put it. Its preferred option – a road through Rimrose Valley - was not the subject of the legal proceedings, nor was it endorsed by the outcome of the judicial review.

“This appears to be the latest example of Highways England using language which is aimed at convincing the public that the road is a formality, when it is anything but.

“Given the nature and sensitivity of this issue and its potential to influence public opinion, we have contacted Highways England requesting that it issues a correction to all who have received this letter or email, highlighting the original error.

We are also taking our own legal advice on this matter, as we believe it misrepresents both the ruling itself and the supporting statements made by Mr Justice Kerr.”



[1] Link to Highways England email, confirming delay. Copy available on request:

[2] Link to Mr Justice Kerr’s ruling

Notes to editor

The proposed road through Rimrose Valley Country Park is an upgrade to the current A5036 Liverpool Port Access Road. Highways England wants to build this road after a consultation where it offered only two options, both of which were unpalatable to the local community and in fact weren’t any choice at all. Option B (Rimrose Valley) was the least favoured. Summary of results here:

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