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Metro Mayoral Elections: Candidates' statements

Updated: Apr 15

Following on from us recently sharing statements from each of Sefton's main political party leaders ahead of the local elections, we wanted to do the same for each of the candidates standing for Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, also known as our Metro Mayor.

As we've highlighted many times before, increasingly, the devolved city regions across England are gaining greater and greater powers over what happens in their area, including transport. We also hear that they are to gain new powers in relation to key roads within the region.

Therefore, the role of the Metro Mayor for our own city region is hugely important in our attempts to secure a better outcome for access to and from the Port of Liverpool than the cheap and nasty road solution we've ended up with.

We invited each candidate to South Sefton to come and see a section of both the existing port access route (at Princess Way) and Rimrose Valley itself.

The Green Party and Conservative Party candidates took up this invitation.

We then asked each candidate for a statement of their views on the road proposal and port access, which we are sharing in full here.

We've listed the statements in alphabetical order, according to which party they represent.

Note: As of 08/04/24, statements are outstanding for both Liberal Democrats and Labour. Steve Rotheram's team (Labour's candidate) has advised that a statement is forthcoming but a visit is not possible due to a full schedule. As our incumbent Mayor, we acknowledge that this makes his availability challenging. We will update this article as and when other statements are received.

After visiting Rimrose Valley, I couldn’t help but be moved by the community spirit involved. The running track an absolute highlight - there are not many parks that have defibrillators next to where the community have a run, all funded and delivered by the community.


There are homes alongside the existing port access road with blackened windows from the pollution. The fact we are expecting people to live like this is quite shocking. Positive health outcomes are low compared with people in other parts of the country and they deserve us as politicians to do better. Offsetting with trees is of no consequence to people in the local area.


We of course want the docks to be importing and exporting as much as possible and I understand the complexity involved in transporting goods. However, I don’t see road as being the primary answer. Rail freight lines have to be looked at first and foremost. Road should be an absolute last resort and if road has to be the answer, then the community needs to be compensated adequately. 


If elected as Metro Mayor, I would lobby government to begin extensive planning for freight rail lines, look to secure the necessary funding, and work with other metro mayors to create a joined-up plan to move goods across the country. We need to look for alternative methods of transporting freight to road. I believe we have a fantastic opportunity to be world leaders, not only as importers/exporters but environmentally friendly, healthy and safe transporters.

Jade Marsden - Conservative candidate for Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor

As a Green Party Councillor, I am absolutely opposed to the disgraceful proposal to build a road through Rimrose Valley. I pledge that as Metro Mayor I would do everything in my power to fight the plan.


Rimrose Valley is a large, wild feeling park in an area which does not have access to alternative green open spaces. It is therefore essential for people to access nature and the great outdoors. It is home to important habitats and contributes to the biodiversity of the city region. It has high quality active travel routes, a running track and football pitches so enables healthy, active living to the thousands of people living nearby.


To put a new highway used by thousands of trucks per day through this amazing place is pure vandalism and must not be allowed to go ahead.


As Metro Mayor I would go right back to the drawing board and, working with local communities, campaign groups, and transport experts, develop a new plan which reduces the strain on local roads and delivers a socially and environmentally responsible solution to the challenge of transporting goods to and from the port.

Councillor Tom Crone, The Green Party candidate for Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor

Whilst national highways are not something the Mayor has control over, I have regularly engaged with local campaigners and helped to convene discussions for interested parties.

I've helped to get answers from this Tory government about its proposals to construct a highway through Rimrose Valley Country Park and consistently met with the political leadership across Sefton to understand their position, and have consistently supported the Council’s right to explore alternatives to the government's proposals.

A successful Port of Liverpool is in the best interests of everyone within the borough of Sefton and the wider Liverpool City Region. However, it must be responsive to the needs of local communities. The current infrastructure supporting the port is woefully lacking, especially in terms of rail.

I have continually highlighted the need for national infrastructure investment to support freight onto rail, which would take millions of HGV miles off our roads and motorways. Congestion has resulted in local people suffering from toxic air pollution which increases respiratory illnesses.

The government announcement of the scrapping of HS2 was significant to our city region too. HS2 was always as much about increasing rail capacity as improving journey times, which I've emphasised to 5 successive Tory Transport Secretaries. 

The government’s betrayal of the North of England by scrapping the Birmingham to Manchester leg, shows the Conservatives have no credible plan to address issues of strategic national importance.

If re-elected, I pledge to continue engaging with campaign groups on this issue and the wider strategic priorities for our area. I will ensure future pan-Northern network proposals linking Liverpool to Hull deliver the maximum possible benefits to the Liverpool City Region. I will only accept plans that will boost freight capacity, reduce journey times, increase frequency and reduce potential disruption to Lime Street.

Locally I'm proud to be building a London-style public transport system to encourage more people out of their cars and improve air quality for all communities. We've already delivered brand new trains, zero emission buses, better active travel routes, and simpler and cheaper ticketing but I want to go much further and faster.


With your support on 2nd May, I will continue to be a strong voice for you and work tirelessly on behalf of all Liverpool City Region residents.

Steve Rotheram, The Labour Party candidate for Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor

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