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PRESS RELEASE: Outrage as Grayling adds insult to injury

Outrage at hypocrisy as Grayling adds insult to injury for residents fighting destructive road plans

Residents across North Liverpool are outraged at comments made by Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, earlier this week [1]. Speaking about his personal decision to cancel Highways England’s plans to redevelop the A27 in Chichester and Worthing back in 2017, Grayling expanded on the reasoning behind this.

He cited the ‘huge resistance to the plans locally’ claiming ‘what we would never want to do is to proceed with a scheme which had substantial local opposition, not just from residents affected by it, but seemingly across the whole community’.

He continued by saying that his message to the people of Chichester was to 'go away and think through what works best and come up with a local consensus. It is very much a question of when the local community agrees on what it actually wants.’

He added, ‘…local stakeholders and the local members of parliament weren't happy with the initial proposals. I am working quite carefully with local MPs now, to make sure that a scheme does come forward, that can deliver what people hope for’.

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

“Is this a joke? The hypocrisy of these statements when applied to our own situation [3] here in Sefton is so staggering; it would be laughable, if it weren’t so offensive. This is politics at its very worst. Is it any coincidence that Grayling chooses to listen to MPs and residents of Conservative-held constituencies, yet again, from the south of the country? Was the scheme brought to his attention as a potential vote-loser?

“He needs to be held to account on this and we have asked both of our MPs Peter Dowd and Bill Esterson to raise this with him as a matter of urgency. Why isn’t he ‘working quite carefully’ with them to solve our issues and listening to our communities?

“Our situation is exactly the same. Huge public opposition, divided communities and our Council and MPs opposed. Why are we being treated so differently? In a recent letter to Friends of the Earth’s Chief Executive, Craig Bennett [2], he ignored calls to revisit the A5036 Scheme, despite the huge level of opposition to it.

“Chris Grayling’s treatment of the people of Liverpool is an outrage. We will not take this lying down and if anything this will strengthen our determination to stop this road.”


[1] Source: Chichester Herald 8th July

[2] Link to letter from Chris Grayling, dated 27th April

[3] 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:

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