• Save Rimrose Valley

PRESS RELEASE: Highways England confirms more delays

Highways England has announced [1] that the next round of public consultation on its controversial plans [2] to construct a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley Country Park to the Port of Liverpool cannot take place this year. 

The Government’s road-building company also confirmed that it has postponed a number of surveys either due to ongoing COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, or because the results would not provide an accurate reflection of normal conditions, such as air and noise pollution levels and traffic volumes. 


The latest delays are attributed to the pandemic, but follow the significant impact on the project’s timeline caused by Sefton Council’s 2018 judicial review and its subsequent refusal to work with Highways England on the project.


Highways England had to use legal powers to carry out groundwork investigations on the parkland earlier this year [3]. 


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


“This announcement is sensible and we welcome Highways England’s acknowledgement that it is simply not possible to hold a public consultation at this moment in time. Everyone’s priority is rightly their health and wellbeing. We will make our objections known to whatever Highways England has in store for Rimrose Valley and the surrounding communities at a later date. 


“In the meantime, we urge Highways England and its staff to use this time to reconsider this project in its entirety. We wonder how many of them had access to open green space during lockdown and how they would have felt without it? 


“This is exactly what is missing from this project. There has been a complete lack of appreciation of our circumstances. COVID-19 has shone a light on how vital our parks and green spaces are – and how they must be fought for and protected. Bulldozing Rimrose Valley in favour of a road full of HGVs travelling to and from the port sounds as archaic as it is. People want a green recovery from this pandemic. All Highways England is offering is more tarmac and more pollution.”


Notes 

[1] Link to Highways England announcement 14.09.2020 

https://highwaysengland.co.uk/our-work/north-west/a5036-port-of-liverpool-access/


[2] The proposed road through Rimrose Valley Country Park is to upgrade 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 campaign demonstrated against this work in February 2020: https://www.saverimrosevalley.org/post/press-release-demonstration-against-boreholes-on-rimrose-valley

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