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PRESS RELEASE: Metro Mayor backs calls for sustainable alternatives to port access

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, has written [1] to Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, asking him to reconsider the controversial £250m Port of Liverpool Access Road proposal [2] in favour of sustainable alternatives. It follows similar requests made by Sefton Council Leaders and constituency MPs.

The letter highlights the City Region’s efforts to tackle the climate emergency, references the need to protect public health and green spaces and reiterates the Metro Mayor’s desire for government to provide greater investment in Northern Powerhouse Rail [3], reducing reliance on road haulage.

In it, Steve Rotheram writes:

“The elected representatives for the area believe they are best placed to understand the unique issues associated with a port operating amongst and alongside residential communities – and the negative impacts of HGV traffic accessing the Port of Liverpool. They are on record as stating that they do not believe another road is the answer […] and are of the opinion that their views are not being fully considered.”

He goes on to write:

“I am of the view that the money allocated to this project could and should be spent on sustainable solutions to port access such as rail freight capacity; not least because of the climate emergency we are facing, the public health crisis associated with air pollution and the substantial loss and degradation of green space.”

The letter concludes with an offer to facilitate discussions between the key parties and an invitation to Grant Shapps to visit the Port of Liverpool to discuss the matter with local politicians.

Commenting on the latest development, Stuart Bennett of Save Rimrose Valley said:

“We welcome this important intervention from Steve Rotheram. We now have our Council, our MPs and our Metro Mayor all saying that sustainable solutions to port access must be prioritised.

“The Department for Transport and National Highways can’t keep burying their heads in the sand and hoping that this issue will go away. It won’t. Opposition to these plans continues to grow by the day.

“We sincerely hope that Grant Shapps takes up Steve Rotheram’s offer. It’s high time that ‘levelling up’ and ‘building back better’ become more than just soundbites to those of us living in Merseyside.”


[1] Letter from Metro Mayor to Grant Shapps here

[2] Link to summary of Port of Liverpool Access Scheme:

[3] Open letter from Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to Grant Shapps on ‘cheap and nasty’ rail solution Why I oppose North’s ‘cheap and nasty’ rail plan – Yorkshire Post Letters | Yorkshire Post

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