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PRESS RELEASE: National Highways hiding climate impact of Port of Liverpool Access Road

National Highways’ delay in publishing the full, projected carbon emissions arising from its controversial Port of Liverpool Access Road [1] is hiding the road’s true environmental impact.

Transport Action Network [2] recently requested [3] an up-to-date carbon assessment for the road proposal. National Highways sent an old assessment from 2017 adding that it will not be producing a new carbon assessment in time for the public consultation. It will only do this when it applies for planning consent, after the consultation has taken place. This will deny the public important information to consider when they comment on the scheme.

National Highways’ 2017 figures showed that extra traffic caused by the scheme would increase carbon emissions by 555,232 tonnes. However, unlike some of the organisation’s other road projects, this figure did not include emissions from the scheme’s construction nor the wider, cumulative impacts.

Stuart Bennett from the Save Rimrose Valley campaign said:

“National Highways has form when it comes to keeping the public in the dark. It failed to publish the scheme’s environmental impact assessment in its initial public consultation in 2017. It took repeated requests from CPRE to obtain this document; by which time, it was too late. The next round of consultation is a critical opportunity for people to raise concerns about the road, but to do this, we need to be in possession of the full facts. Incomplete, outdated figures are simply not good enough.

“What does this government-owned company have to hide? Whichever way it chooses to spin this road proposal, there’s simply no escaping the fact that it would be hugely destructive to the environment and set efforts to tackle the climate emergency back by decades. Why can’t National Highways see what everyone else can? We need urgent action and a complete rethink of our infrastructure; not more damaging roads.”

Rebecca Lush, Local Campaigns Support Officer at Transport Action Network added:

“We were shocked to discover that climate change is not a priority for the National Highways team working on the Port of Liverpool Access Road. It is the most important and pressing environmental issue of our time so it is inexplicable that National Highways’ consultation will not include in the scheme’s total carbon emissions. It will make an informed view of the scheme’s climate impact impossible.

“National Highways has provided full carbon estimates in time for the statutory consultations of the huge A66 Northern Trans Pennine scheme and the A358 scheme in Somerset. These included emissions from both the additional traffic generated and construction. Why the inconsistency and why is Liverpool being treated differently?”

Transport Action Network has asked National Highways to provide them with further information on how they plan to assess the climate change impact of the Port of Liverpool Access scheme for the forthcoming consultations and is awaiting a response [5].

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

A5036 Port of Liverpool access - Highways England

[2] Transport Action Network support people and groups press for more sustainable transport in England and Wales:

Transport Action Network

[3] Freedom of information request #1

[4] Freedom of information request #2

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