We've got this!
Last Friday’s ruling  has raised questions and concerns amongst many of us, so we wanted to take a moment to hopefully address some of these by telling you what action we’re taking as we move towards the next phase of Highways England’s scheme.
First and foremost, do we feel defeated, or despondent?
And neither should you.
In so many ways, the ruling changes nothing. The best case scenario we could have hoped for is that Highways England be instructed to re-run the public consultation, and to include a tunnel option.
We have little doubt that, based on all of the negative statements the Government Agency has been pushing out through our local and regional media from the outset, it would simply have presented the cheapest, most damaging version of a tunnel, with as many CPOs as possible, in order to paint it as a massively unattractive option.
Furthermore, even if a tunnel option was chosen ahead of the others in the re-run consultation, there is little to suggest that Highways England would have listened to public opinion. Let’s face it; it doesn’t exactly have a great track record of this, having ignored the outcome of its original consultation .
Democracy in action, eh?
Does this mean that the Judicial Review was a waste of time?
No, not at all.
At the very least it has caused delay and helped our campaign to build momentum… both of which are very good things indeed. We now find ourselves in the situation whereby the dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley is officially the “preferred option” (or at least Highways England’s) and we move towards the Statutory Consultation.
Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Don’t be!
This was always going to be a long fight and we’ve simply entered the next phase.
So, what are we doing about this and what are the next steps?
Well, for starters, we’re working with the Campaign for Better Transport, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Friends of the Earth to ensure that we not only fully understand the next phase of the project, but are also ready to challenge the plans at every opportunity.
In addition, we are contacting many other organisations and individuals and we are working to engage with ALL those who STILL have the ability to influence the outcome.
Remember; it’s not a done deal until it has been signed off by the Secretary of State for Transport, which is a long way down the line.
We have requested updated timescales from Highways England and we’ve asked them to elaborate on when, exactly, in the New Year the Statutory Consultation will begin. We want to ensure that its consultation events guarantee the best possible public turnout.
There must be plenty of these events, over a sufficiently long period of time, at as many easily accessible locations, suitable days and times of the week as possible.
These sessions are for the public and are not meant to be for the convenience of Highways England.
It is enormously important that everyone who cares about Rimrose Valley gets involved in these and that we turn out in droves.
The more visible the display of opposition, the more objections to the preferred route received; the better chance we stand of changing the outcome of this terrible, damaging scheme.
We will be sharing more details on this as we learn more and things progress.
Above all, we want to make it as easy as possible for all of us, the people who will be most affected by this road, to engage in the process, to formally lodge your objections and to have your say.
But, we can only do so much. The rest is down to you.
So, we ask that everyone remains positive, up for the fight and continues to demonstrate the incredible passion and togetherness shown at “Hands Across the Valley” and our other events.
And let’s see what we can achieve. Together.
Are we ready? Bring it on.
Some really important things you can be doing in the meantime:
1. Tell the Secretary of State for Transport how you feel
This is massively important, even if you end up getting a letter from Highways England!
Already done it?
It doesn’t matter – do it again, and again, and again…
Email: email@example.com and ‘cc’ your MP, including your full name and address in any emails
Peter Dowd MP: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Esterson MP: email@example.com
Want some tips on what to include? Find them here:
“Not from ‘round ‘ere??!!” Again, it doesn’t matter.
We want people from across the Liverpool City Region and beyond to support us in protecting our green space and clean air. And we’ll support you in return!
2. Help us to carry on the fight!
We have recently launched a push on fundraising and set ourselves a goal of raising £2000 to ensure that we begin the New Year on the front foot.
Highways England doesn’t have to worry about budget, or resources, but we do!
We’ve made a fantastic start to this thanks to people like YOU, with over £700 raised in our first week.
To learn more about why this is so important, follow the link below and, if at all possible, please donate to our campaign:
3. Choose YOUR preferred option
We have launched our own “alternative” public consultation, with wording that we feel more accurately reflects the options presented by Highways England… and includes two more solutions for consideration.
On the face of it, this may seem frivolous, but it’s not!
We intend to present the results to Highways England and the UK Government.
Please get involved, take your pick and share our poll!
4. Sign the petition!
Have you done this yet? Or, have you been meaning to get round to it?
Do it. Share it. Tell others to do it!
It takes a couple of minutes and is a simple, visual display of opposition.
Just look at what the Save Calderstones Campaign has achieved! Almost 50,000 signatures and counting!
Do they care more about green space in South Liverpool than the North of this amazing city?
Of course not!!!
But we need to show we care as much they do.
Sign it and share it with friends, family, celebrities, charities… EVERYONE!
5. Get involved!
We have lots to do and are always on the lookout for people with fresh ideas and energy. If we are to defeat this monster, we need your help!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you can do to progress the campaign.
6. Follow and support us on Social Media
Help us to spread the word.
Like our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/SaveRimroseValley
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/saverimrose
Check out our campaign website: www.saverimrosevalley.org
Why not write a blog? We’ll publish it! Send it to: email@example.com
Thanks for your support so far. Onwards!
Details and results of Highways England’s public consultation, in which the bypass through Rimrose Valley was the least favoured option: