• Save Rimrose Valley

The fight goes on.


We vow to continue the fight against road plans after High Court rules in favour of Government Agency


A High Court Judge has today ruled that Highways England was not required to present a tunnel option to the public as part of its consultation on proposed solutions to address the Port of Liverpool’s expansion [1].


The case was brought by Sefton Council after the Government Agency’s plans to build a dual carriageway through the Country Park were announced in August 2017. It had claimed that Highways England had gone back on assurances that a tunnel option was to be included in those presented to the public.


Stuart Bennett of the Save Rimrose Valley Campaign said:

“Whilst today’s ruling is a set-back, we are extremely grateful to Sefton Council for bringing this case to court and for standing up for the communities which would be impacted by the dreadful plans. We understand that the Council is taking legal advice, with an appeal being a possible option.


We believe that it only lost because of the skewed and perverse assessment criteria that Highways England uses when defining the budget for its projects, which is the main reason we find ourselves in this position. The scheme has been given a paltry budget compared to those in the South [2], yet we’re expected to be grateful for the investment? Indeed, we feel that the judgement makes it clear that the Government that must change its cost-benefit measures and commit to more money for projects where so many lives are affected.

“The result was not entirely unexpected; as such cases are extremely difficult to win. We want to reassure our supporters that we are also assessing our options and are extremely heartened by Sefton Council’s public commitment to continue to oppose these plans going forward.


“Above all, the ruling does not signify the end of our campaign - far from it. In many ways, it changes nothing. It simply strengthens our resolve to fight Highways England every step of the way to safeguard our health and our children’s health, not to mention our precious green space.


“We are calling on everyone from Liverpool and beyond to back our fight in seeking justice for local communities and to help us defeat the Highways England juggernaut before it’s too late and our green space and clean air is lost forever. We will be holding more protests to highlight our cause and will share information on these soon.


“Our campaign already has the support of our MPs and Sefton Council, but we are calling on ALL politicians from the region to step up and to help us push to find acceptable alternatives. In particular, we demand that our Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, break his silence on this issue and establishes a working group to examine all options, in which we want to be represented.”


For more details on this and on how to support the campaign, follow us on social media:


Facebook: www.facebook.com/SaveRimroseValley

Twitter: www.twitter.com/saverimrose


References

[1] Details and results of Highways England’s public consultation, in which the bypass through Rimrose Valley was the least favoured option:

https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/a5036-port-of-liverpool-access-scheme/

[2] Details of the £6bn Lower Thames Crossing, in which a tunnel solution is heralded as being environmentally sound and sympathetic to the public’s health:

https://highwaysengland.co.uk/lower-thames-crossing-home/




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