• Save Rimrose Valley

PRESS RELEASE: Freeport status must act as catalyst for better infrastructure

Save Rimrose Valley is calling on the Metro Mayor and the Liverpool City Region’s business community to use Liverpool’s newfound freeport status [1] as a catalyst for a transport infrastructure revolution in Sefton and beyond.

Image: Liverpool Business News

The campaign is fighting Highways England’s plans for a new access road [2] to the Port of Liverpool. This involves building a dual carriageway down the entire length of Rimrose Valley Country Park, severing it in two. It claims the road would do little to address the issues associated with Peel Ports’ current operations and its plans for even greater expansion, which impact the whole area.

Save Rimrose Valley is calling on the Metro Mayor, Peel Ports and associated businesses to back Sefton Council’s calls [3] for better alternatives to moving freight in and out of the Port of Liverpool. Sefton Council recently commissioned Arup, world leaders in sustainable infrastructure design, to report [4] on non-road solutions to port access. Pursuing these types of solutions, instead of a new road, could improve life for everyone in the south of the borough as well as protecting vital green space.


Speaking on behalf of the campaign, Stuart Bennett said:

“The Liverpool City Region and the maritime sector were quick to back the freeport bid, as they’re banking on this being good for business and the wider economy. If that is the case, they should be equally keen to back Sefton Council’s calls for better transport infrastructure that actually facilitates growth without dumping more traffic and pollution on the local communities and destroying precious green space.

“We feel that it’s only right and fair that those who stand to benefit from this the most – Peel Ports and Peel Land & Property in particular – have a duty to see that this growth is responsible and sustainable. Otherwise, it will be seen by many as nothing more than a money and land-grabbing exercise by the port.

“Our Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, must give this issue the attention it deserves. He should be supporting our Council and our MPs in calling on central government to abandon the road and instead to invest in clean and safe ways of moving goods into and out of the port. Why isn’t he? This is likely to be a big issue for Sefton voters in the forthcoming Metro Mayor elections.”



Notes:


[1] Confirmation and details of Liverpool City Region’s freeport bid success:

Place North West | BUDGET 2021 | Freeport status for Liverpool


[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] Sefton Council’s press release: Sefton Council keen to ensure environmental & social factors fully considered in Port of Liverpool growth - My Sefton News Channel


[4] Link to Sefton Council-Arup Report: Slide 1 (mysefton.co.uk)



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