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PRESS RELEASE: Meeting with Minister to explore alternatives to controversial road

Local MPs Peter Dowd and Bill Esterson

Bootle MP, Peter Dowd, has secured a meeting with a Transport Minister over Highways England’s controversial Port of Liverpool Access road proposal [1].

The topic was raised in Parliament on Thursday, 28th January during a session in which both Peter Dowd [2] and Sefton Central MP, Bill Esterson [3], asked the government to explore alternatives to Highways England’s plans to build a dual carriageway to the port. This would run along the entire length of Rimrose Valley Country Park, severing it in two.

Both questioned the government’s commitment to tackling CO2 emissions and the Prime Minister’s own ‘ten point plan for a green industrial revolution’ [4] through continuing to prioritise road projects such as the Port of Liverpool Access Road.

Responding to Peter Dowd’s request for a meeting with MPs, Sefton Council and campaigners, Chris Heaton-Harris MP said:

“I think he represents a wonderful part of the world, with wonderful people and represents it well and I will sort out the meeting with the appropriate minister on his behalf.”

Sefton Council recently commissioned a report [5] into alternative access to and from ports in locations such as Liverpool. It was produced by Arup, world leaders in sustainable infrastructure design and contained several, non-road solutions to the movement of freight containers.

The Save Rimrose Valley campaign is calling for these to be explored instead of a hugely damaging new road. Speaking on behalf of the campaign, Stuart Bennett said:

“This feels like real progress. We are grateful that both our MPs and our Council are taking this matter so seriously and are as passionate as we are about finding a better solution. This is particularly important, given Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram’s endorsement of a Liverpool City Region Freeport bid [6], which would see more HGV traffic generated by Peel Port’s operations here in Sefton.

“With Sefton Council opposing the road proposal, the freeport bid and both our MPs backing our campaign, the Metro Mayor seems out of touch with public opinion. We’re calling on him to join us in seeking a solution which not only protects essential green space, but also improves the living conditions of those alongside the existing route by removing damaging container HGVs entirely. This is a hugely important issue which we will be highlighting during his campaign for re-election this year.”



[1] 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:

[3] Link to question from Bill Esterson MP:

[5] Link to Sefton Council-Arup Report: Slide 1 (

[6] Link confirming LCR’s Freeport bid, backed by the Metro Mayor: City region presses ahead with bid for freeport status |

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