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PRESS RELEASE: Campaign secures backing of Liverpool City Region

Cllr Steve Foulkes, Chair of the City Region Transport Committee

addresses campaigners at the Combined Authority Headquarters, Mann Island

For immediate release Tuesday, 8th August, 2023

Press release

Campaign secures backing of Liverpool City Region

Campaigners fighting National Highways’ controversial Port of Liverpool Access Road [1] have secured the backing of the Liverpool City Region as a result of their latest action.

Around 75 people braved the elements on Saturday 5th August to march 6 miles from Rimrose Valley [2] – the country park which stands to be bulldozed if the plans go ahead – to Mann Island, home of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA).

Wirral Councillor, Steve Foulkes, Chair of the City Region’s Transport Committee [3] met them and acknowledged the campaign’s calls for the Combined Authority to reject the road proposal in favour of sustainable infrastructure and to urgently improve air quality in South Sefton [4].

Addressing the crowd, which walked a large section of the historic Leeds-Liverpool canal before marching down a rain-soaked Strand, Cllr Foulkes pledged his support, saying:

“(The Transport Committee) is a democratic organisation and the important thing about democratic organisations is they must listen to the people. It’s quite clear what your message is; you want an alternative to this scheme.

“We don’t believe it’s the right solution (and) the committee and the Mayor are dedicated to clean air and better air quality. You do not do that by building more roads. The way forward is to improve the rail freight network. That’s the proper solution. The infrastructure is nearly there, and it wouldn’t take much to link it to the port.

“We’re demanding that National Highways’ funding be devolved to the Liverpool City Region and that WE decide the solution, working with our people and with your ideas to make sure we get the best solution for the future and for generations ahead.

“We have strong allies in Transport for the North and their masterplan is to get more freight onto rail. They are a statutory body that the government must listen to. Together, we will use all our powers of influence and do all we can possibly do to get the agenda to move to what you want.

“I salute what you’ve done today, which demonstrates your commitment and has raised the profile of this problem to another level. Politicians must listen, government officials must listen."

Speaking on behalf of Save Rimrose, Stuart Bennett said:

“We were blown away by the attendance for this event and want to thank everyone who gave up their Saturday and precious family time to show their commitment to the cause. This was particularly impressive, given the weather conditions.

“The words of Cllr Foulkes are a huge boost as it means we now have the backing of all 3 levels of our political structure; our council, both of our Westminster MPs and now the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. It would be madness for the government and National Highways to push ahead with this road project in the face of this level of opposition.

“It also demonstrates that people power really does work and where better for us to prove this than in the heart of Liverpool itself? Our city and its people are renowned for our commitment to social justice and our campaign is a perfect example of this. Would the government dream of building a road through historic Sefton Park, or one of London’s great parks? Of course not. All we are asking is that OUR green space and the health and wellbeing of OUR communities be shown the same respect.

“It feels like we have made another major step as a result of this latest action and we’re confident that this message is understood by all within the City Region, including our Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram. We won’t let up until this scheme is scrapped and new plans are offered, which put the interests of every resident in South Sefton first, not merely an afterthought of the port’s expansion.”


Notes to Editors:

[1] Project page for A5036 Port of Liverpool Access Scheme:

[2] For details of the Save Rimrose Valley campaign, visit website:

[3] Details of LCRCA’s Transport Committee

[4] Summary of LCRCA’s environmental commitments:

Protestors marched from Rimrose Valley along the Leeds-Liverpool canal

Campaigners brave the rain to march towards Mann Island

Members of the Liverpool City Region Transport Committee pictured with campaigners at Mann Island

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