• Save Rimrose Valley

PRESS RELEASE: Could new report derail controversial road?

The Save Rimrose Valley campaign has welcomed Sefton Council’s report [1] on alternatives to Highways England’s controversial A5036 Port of Liverpool Access Scheme [2] as potentially a major step in its fight to protect the country park from development.


Sefton Council, which has long opposed the controversial scheme [3], commissioned its own research into non-road solutions to the movement of freight to and from the Port of Liverpool.


Working with Arup [4], one of the world’s leading engineering and design consultancies, the report outlines a number of potential freight logistics solutions which, if pursued, would see the vast majority of port-related HGVs removed from the local road network altogether. These would address many of the issues being experienced along the existing A5036 route and protect Rimrose Valley in the process.


The solutions contained within the report include a combination of technology already in use at other major ports across the globe, and a freight pipeline concept. The proposals each involve the transfer of containers to an inland hub, bypassing local road networks and residential areas, before terminating at a facility near the existing strategic road network, although it stops short of defining routes or locations.


Responding to the announcement on behalf of the Save Rimrose Valley campaign, Stuart Bennett said:


“It represents a major breakthrough, not only in our fight to save Rimrose Valley, but also to improve the lives of our neighbours on the existing route. By demonstrating that there are serious alternatives to road building, this report highlights why Highways England’s damaging and outdated plans are completely unnecessary.


“We need to study the detail and are keen to learn more about potential routes and locations, but at first glance, this represents a better outcome for all our communities. It would also appear to offer Peel Ports a chance to grow its operations, but in a responsible and sustainable manner, which respects both the environment and public health. Clogging up our roads with thousands upon thousands of HGVs isn’t just bad for our communities, it would be bad for business.


We now need to see real decisions and real action. An obvious first step is for Highways England’s disastrous road project to be cancelled and for the money to be re-allocated to delivering a sustainable alternative. If the Government is serious about ‘levelling up’ the economy and investing in the north, then it needs to put its money where its mouth is and invest in a better future for Liverpool.


“We will be calling for these alternatives to be presented to the public in a true and meaningful consultation. This is something our communities have so far been denied. Peel Ports must be part of this process. They are the problem, so must be part of the solution.”


Notes and Links


[1] Link to Sefton Council press release which contains ARUP report and statements from Council Leader Ian Maher and Peter Dowd MP:

Sefton Council keen to ensure environmental & social factors fully considered in Port of Liverpool growth - My Sefton News Channel


[2] 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:

https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/a5036-port-of-liverpool-access-scheme/results/n170135---a5036-port-of-liverpool-access----summary-pcr---web.pdf

[3] The Council has opposed the Government’s current controversial plans to build a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley since they were announced in 2017, bringing a judicial review against Highways England in 2018. Ruling here: Sefton Council v Highways England Ruling | Save Rimrose (saverimrosevalley.org)

[4] ARUP are experts in sustainable infrastructure design:

Arup - Global Advisory, Design, Planning & Engineering Consultancy

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