Back in April, we shared a letter sent by Sefton Council Leaders to the DfT, which refuted the Department's claims that the A5036 Port of Liverpool Access Road was being partly driven by housing developments in the borough.
You can refresh your memory on that by revisiting it here.
We've now had sight of the subsequent two pieces of correspondence which we are sharing below, as promised.
Both letters refer to the ongoing work being done to revisit the original traffic modelling for the scheme, which we have shared news of before, as this was the basis of the most recent update from National Highways.
The response to the Council's original letter came from Roads Minister, Baroness Vere, who we've obviously encountered over the course of the last few years.
The Minister wrote:
"I would not disagree that the Port of Liverpool and its expansion is the main driver of congestion and for the A5036 Princess Way scheme and this has been made quite clear in material produced by National Highways."
After years of pointing this out to Peel Ports, National Highways, the Department for Transport and its Strategic Roads Division... this admission is both refreshing and more than a little surprising, coming from the Roads Minister herself.
It means that this point is no longer in question and there's no longer any hiding place for Peel Ports, National Highways or indeed anyone else who pretends that this road proposal isn't primarily driven by the port's growth.
Thanks for that one, Baroness!
You can read her letter in full below:
It was followed up by a response from Sefton Council Leader, Ian Maher.
In his own letter, Cllr Maher again states that reference to housing as being a driver for the road proposal should not have been made.
It concludes with an invitation to the Baroness to meet with Sefton's Chief Executive, Dawyne Johnson, and Ian Maher as soon as data modelling is complete.
Read the letter in full here:
So, a couple of interesting pieces of correspondence.
For our part, we have followed up with Sefton Council and flagged a couple of organisations we've got to know through our campaigning who campaign for better transport provision when considering new housing developments. Building new homes next to good public transport links and local amenities is essential if we're to reduce car dependency not just locally, but across the country.
The more we can tackle our own car use, the more it undermines the already flimsy arguments in favour of the road proposal... and the more it becomes all about the port.
Which, as we now know, thanks to the Roads Minister herself, is exactly what it's been about all along.