Delays in store for Port of Liverpool link road

Plans for a new road between Switch Island and Princess Way to improve access to the port and bypass the existing A5036 have suffered setbacks due to ongoing ground investigations and the impact of Covid-19.

A statement from Highways England warned that the next round of consultation on the project would be pushed back until next year, from this year, because some of the planning and environmental work required to develop the proposals has been impossible to carry out during the pandemic.

The statement said: “Due to the impact of Covid-19, we have faced some delays on activities we need to carry out to develop the project, including analysing the results of the ground investigation surveys.

“We’ve also postponed a number of environmental surveys as some of these could not be carried out safely while following social distancing rules, or because the results would not provide an accurate reflection of normal conditions.

“We are working to understand the overall impact of the virus on the project schedule, to and develop plans on how we can continue to complete the required activities. It is important that we have accurate data available so we can design the road as effectively as possible.”

It added: “It is uncertain how much longer the pandemic will continue to disrupt progress, but it is clear we’ll be unable to hold our next consultation this year. We understand this will be disappointing to everybody who wants to formally have their say on the proposals, and we wanted to thank you for your patience.

“We are continuing to develop the scheme, and we’ll update stakeholders and share our proposals for the design of the road, along with the findings of the surveys, as soon as we can.

The project aims to ease traffic on the A5036 Dunnings Bridge Road outside Liverpool by building a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley Country Park.

Surveyors have begun ground investigations at the site, and are currently carrying out regular checks of the boreholes that were installed in Rimrose Valley as part of the investigations that began last year.

The plan is to make monthly checks of the groundwater levels up until this summer, to develop a detailed understanding of the ground conditions in the valley and establish whether it can accommodate large-scale road infrastructure.

According to the plans detailed in 2018, the proposed route is three miles long, cutting through the Rimrose Valley area and linking the Princess Way section of the A5036 to the south and Broom’s Cross Road to the north, with new junctions, bridges and footbridges.

It also includes an upgrade to a dual carriageway on Broom’s Cross Road between the new bypass and the Switch Island Interchange, and de-trunking of the existing A5036 between the Switch Island Interchange and the Princess Way section of the A5036. The scheme is intended to take freight away from residential areas on the congested A5036.

The road is likely to become more urgently needed if the Liverpool City Region’s bid for the Port of Liverpool and surrounding areas to win freeport status, submitted to the Government this month.

The proposal aims to boost local economic development by expanding the port and local service areas and bringing forward several sites for commercial development. However, improved access links and plans to reduce road freight in the area are also set out in the bid.

The first UK freeports are expected to be announced and created this year.

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The road proposals are a farce. It will not relieve the situation on that part of the A5036 known as Princess Way – the people in those environs already suffer badly from illegal levels of pollution and that will only get worse. Proposals to destroy valuable green space in such a highly built up and densely populated area go against the government’s green policies. Yet again the north of England is being disadvantaged because the government won’t spend money on finding the best solution for the whole area that would included a reduction in overly high air pollution levels over the whole area. Even Highways England admit that if this road goes ahead it will reduce the air quality for the people whose homes surround the Park (estimated at 90,000 people) and they conveniently forget about the number of householders who have been told their homes will be lost because of the proposed road.

By Janet McNulty

The project is a disgrace anyway. Highways paying minimum they can get away with for access to the port. Tunnel under Stonehenge? No problem. For going through Liverpool? Nah, just ram the road straight through a wildflower nature reserve.

By Jeff

Your article depicts a simple scenario with one solution .Your piece describes the need to get freight to and from the port.
The real situation is more complex and requires a solution which addresses all aspects of the impact of the expansion of Port of Liverpool.This will be more crucial if the Freeport Status is granted.
It is obvious the road access is already insufficient,but more important,the human cost of the current and the proposed road is a price of ruined health and poor quality of life in an already severely deprived area .
The last thing which is suitable is more road capacity and the destruction of the only green space .
The Port of Liverpool should be accessed by non road solutions as described by the Arup report commissioned by Sefton Council.
If stakeholders were expected to bear some of the expense of this option it could be achieved.
The current option is lethal to the community by comparison.

By Catherine O'Rourke

This road will be built with no thought to the lives of the people that live in the surrounding areas. No thought to people’s health or wellbeing. Rimrose Valley has been a god send for people during all lockdowns and I for one hope this road is never built.

By Netty Thomas

Pollution. Congestion. Danger.

By Bixteth Bob

Using Covid as an excuse to delay an “infrastructure” (least affected type of) project – pathetic!
Planning another new road straight through a nature reserve – pathetic!
Highways England’s one-dimensional attitude towards design & planning – pathetic!

By Anon

Building a road through Rimrose Valley is NOT the answer..there are so many alternatives, look at the Arup Report, commissioned by Sefton Council, Dec 2020..this greenspace has been invaluable during lockdown, and is much-used by many people. Highways England is trying to divide the 2 communities, by moving the traffic problem from Dunnings Bridge/Church Road, to Rimrose Valley. Neither option is viable. A holistic multi-modal approach is needed, to resolve the issues in both areas.

By Sandra Brogan

It’s so wrong to build a road through Rimrose Valley, it’s a beautiful place for all locals to go to. Lots of wild life and plants. Please leave it as it is for our children now and in the future. Go underground, build a tunnel like lots of other place have. Leave our green area alone

By Lorraine

This road is crucial for the creation of 10s of thousands of jobs for deprived communities…..also stops massive pollution from the current inadequate road and the adjacent homes ……essential it goes ahead

By George

We don’t want this road going through our beautiful Rimrose Valley. Moving the problem from 1 area to another. Why can’t railway be used more. Build a tunnel

By Bernadette Crawley

Such a bad idea. What’s wrong with extending the existing railway?

By Meg the dog

It won’t be happening, they can build a tunnel road.

By Peter

The Rimrose Valley is a valuable green resource and important piece of walking and cycling infrastructure linking a umber of communities to one another and beyond via the canal. There are many other options to the proposed road and the Arup report highlights some of these. The proposed road should be stopped, freeport status or not. Up to 5 people a day die in the regiion due to poor air quality and so this cannot be allowed to happen.

By Anon

There’s a Railway line from the docks – put the money into sorting that out for more rail use and use that for all the containers sending them around the country then use lorries for the short distance from the rail drop to the hub estate destinations. Rimrose Valley park was an old tip so good luck on it not sinking and also releasing toxins. Oh yes it’s called Highways so they only want roads, it’s like that Yes Minister sketch, what a joke.

By Davy H

I hope that we are not going to see a lot of reneging on promises from this government. There is already talk that HS2 is not going to go beyond Birmingham on the Eastern leg. We want a proper train network like they have in the South, not some botched cheap rubbish. Manchester is the fastest growing Tech city in Europe. The North West needs Liverpool, Warrington Manchester plus the airport properly linked so the big four economic centres can properly interconnect in the way the South East does with London.

By Elephant

I personally hope this goes ahead and I am 100% confident it will, Liverpool is a Superport City and this is vital for jobs and growth not just for Liverpool City Region but for the North , Liverpool should work on its best assets, and has advantages more so than other neighbouring Cities , onwards and upwards for Liverpool.

By Paul.

Transfer the containers straight onto long freight trains to a new container terminal a few miles outside Liverpool adjacent to the two motorways. More space for the container terminal; more space available within the port.

By James Yates

I hope it goes ahead as Liverpool really does need all the help it can get when it comes to investment, particularly after such a disasterous year in so many ways. However, I have a feeling it’s all going to be watered down so much it won’t be recognisable.

By Wirralwanderer

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