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PRESS RELEASE: Roads Minister agrees to review Sefton Council port access study

Roads Minister, Baroness Vere, has agreed to review Sefton Council’s report [1] into port access, which could contain viable alternatives to Highways England’s controversial Port of Liverpool Access road [2].

Roads Minister, Baroness Vere of Norbiton

This was confirmed in a meeting with the Minister on Wednesday, 10th March [3] requested by Bootle MP Peter Dowd and Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson. The meeting was also attended by representatives of Sefton Council, Highways England and the Save Rimrose Valley campaign.

The MPs talked of the devastating impact the scheme would have on their constituents. They claimed that history was repeating itself with the existing A5036 having already negatively impacted living conditions in surrounding communities since its construction in the 1970s.

They pushed back on the Minister’s assertion that the time for other options to be explored had passed. They cited that widely accepted scientific opinion has demonstrated the damaging effects roads have on air quality, the climate emergency, CO2 emissions and loss of biodiversity. They said they ‘spoke as one’ on this issue and that Sefton Council’s work must be taken seriously and considered as part of a truly multi-modal solution.

Commenting on behalf of Save Rimrose Valley, Stuart Bennett said:

“It was great to see both MPs highlighting the issues around this destructive road proposal, explaining that people are suffering right now in their constituencies as a direct result of another of Highways England’s roads. The focus of this meeting was protecting the health, wellbeing and environment of everyone in our borough. It was about the urgent need to explore more imaginative ways of tackling the problems caused by the Port of Liverpool’s operations. It wasn’t simply about what happens in Rimrose Valley.

“We welcome the Minister’s commitment to review Sefton Council’s initial report. We hope it gives her food for thought and allows the Government to step back from sanctioning the destruction of a valuable green space. The proposed road is not the answer - better alternatives exist which could improve the lives of those along the existing route AND save Rimrose Valley. If the Government is truly committed to building back better and levelling up, then it needs to start putting its words into action. What better place to start than here in Liverpool.”



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

[2] 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] Report on meeting here:

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