The road is meant to provide a faster solution to transporting containers out of the Port of Liverpool

Minister to review plans for Liverpool port road

Sarah Townsend

Baroness Vere has agreed to examine a report produced last year by consultancy Arup on behalf of Sefton Council, which sets out alternatives to building a controversial link road between Switch Island and Princess Way.

The roads minister’s decision follows fierce lobbying by environmental campaign groups including Save Rimrose Valley, which argue that the proposed scheme being led by Highways England would have a devastating impact on biodiversity in the Rimrose Valley Country Park, which the road would cut through.

The project aims to ease traffic on the A5036 Dunnings Bridge Road outside Liverpool by building a dual carriageway through the park and improving freight and other access to the Port of Liverpool by bypassing the existing, heavily congested A5036.

The scheme has already suffered setbacks due to ongoing ground investigations and the impact of Covid-19, Highways England said in a statement last month.

Following Highways England’s announcement of delays, a meeting took place on 10 March between Baroness Vere, Bootle MP Peter Dowd and Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson, and was also attended by representatives of Sefton Council, Highways England and Save Rimrose Valley.

Baroness Vere initially said she believed the opportunity to consider alternative options to the link road had passed and that the scheme’s opponents should seek to exercise their views in the next round of consultation on the project, according to Save Rimrose Valley.

However, she later agreed to review the Arup report that highlights alternative solutions to getting containers out of the port, such as overhead container transfer and automated vehicles, following comments from Sefton MP Esterson, and to report back on her findings.

Stuart Bennett, spokesperson for Save Rimrose Valley, 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 on 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 – not only about what happens in Rimrose Valley.

He added: “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.”

Sefton Council and Highways England have been contacted for comment.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Now we’ll see if the government are serious about “levelling up”, or whether asset stripping of Liverpool remains the unwritten policy.

By Jeff

Lack of long term planning – the port was around long before the housing and better planning for its future should have been policy for decades

By TJL

They need to get on with this .the delay is damaging to the ports growth ….shame the open space will be comprised but thousands of jobs in deprived communities will be lost if this doesn’t happen.sefton Council will need to focus on their citzens futures

By Tom W

Have rail alternatives been fully scrutinised? Could containers be taken by rail in bulk to inland “sortation depots” for onward shipment by road ? Potentially use the Freightliner Terminals around the country that currently receive freight from Southern Ports. This should be considered as part of the Northern Railway Strategy, which the Government has pledged to support.

By Forward Thinker

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Lancashire, Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester is 100% behind the Save Rimrose Valley campaign.

Liverpool Port needs a multi-modal approach to embed sustainable transport. More rail freight to tackle the problems of dirty HGVs on our roads, with the noise and air pollution they cause impacting local health and well-being.

Rimrose Valley Country Park is a much loved and well used greenspace along the Leeds Liverpool Canal in protected Green Belt. The area has had a lot of public investment to provide a quality greenspace and it serves a range of vital ecosystem services.

Constructing a motorway through it would be harmful to the ecology, public health and well-being. It is an important green corridor in an area that is otherwise built up.

We hope the Arup Study leads to a sustainable solution for the mutual benefit of the local economy and environment. There is no replacement for a proper strategic approach.

We welcome the local MPs, Council, and Save Rimrose Valley standing up for a truly sustainable approach.

By Jackie Copley, CPRE Lancashire

Hi Jackie, please feel free to send CPRE’s official statements to news@placenorthwest.co.uk as we can then include them in the actual story, not just the reader comments section. Many thanks, Sarah

By Sarah Townsend

This is nonsense no other real alternative

By George

Arup study superficial and not Liverpool specific … not a real solution

By Tony

Short changed again. If this was Mcr it would have been a tunnel at any expense.

By Ken B

There is a disused train track that runs at the side of the old Bootle hospital that would be ideal. This would mean Rimrose valley would remain and continue to be a great access to the people of Sefton especially during this pandemic. Peels port has made enough disruption to the people of Sefton so leave us with some greenery for our health and well being. Sefton already has high figures of asthma especially in the young. The noise from Peels port especially of a night is also impacting on peoples health. It does not create jobs as it is all automated so there are only a few workers required. In the construction of the road this will be tendered and it will not go into Seftons economy as the work force will not be local. This expansion is only for the financial benefit of Peels port and for the to become richer whilst the people of Sefton suffer the aftermath.

By Marie Galagher

Peel Ports need to become more pro Rail. Felixstowe no send 50% of its long distance containers by Rail Southampton and London Gateway also move alot. Sadly Liverpool only send a train to Scotland 3 times a week and a néw train to East Midlands gateway. The vast majority still goes by road. Yes alot will always need to go by rail. But long distance stuff could leave by Rail

By H. Milne

How are they going to ease traffic on princess way

By David Thomas Walsh

Is it not a fact that that Rimrose Valley project is actually built on the former “rubbish dump” of the local councils preceding the establishment of the current Metropolitan Sefton Council?

Perhaps the Highway Authority should compulsory purchase existing housing and construct a new highway into the Port of Liverpool.?

The alternative is to close completely the Port of Liverpool and reopen the former Port of Preston with a complete new motorway system connected to the M6.

Who knows the chimney sweeps and window cleaners who are Councillors representives on Sefton Council might realized that the dawn of the 21st century is here and the rebirth of the Port of Liverpool will bring new prosperity in the North West of England to include Wales, Cumbria and Cheshire for generations.

Bah humbug!, to “duffers united”

By Anonymous

This scheme is long overdue.
As previously said it will bring much needed employment & growth to a badly under resourced area.
Sefton Council has a long history of being unable to deliver major capital schemes & work with partners to deliver jobs & investment in the Borough.
The Council & its MPs seem to have forgotten that over 32,000 vehicles a day use the A5036 and this number is rising.What are they doing about improving the quality of life for people living and children attending schools on this corridor. NOTHING.
Remember this so called Rimrose Valley Country Park was a former public tip for decades.
It was only given country park status when previous road schemes to link up with the Formby Bye Pass fell by the wayside due to lack of funding and austerity by successive Goverments and local Councils dithering as usual.
The park will still remain as public open space .
People need to get real and get much investment & jobs into the area .20/03/21

By PTO

Put it all on rail.

By Denise Yates

Use the railway from the docks it’s being used twice a week the network can handle more trains.

By Davy H

We need our green spaces and clean air more than ever now, anyone not in agreement with that obviously doesn’t live in a heavily polluted area as the residents of Litherland and Bootle do!

By Jean Cameron

If it was in the south east, it would have been done 20 years ago.

By Paul

The growth of the port is essential, it is one of our greatest assets and a solution has to be found, business will go elsewhere if not.
Citizens have to realise that compromises have to be made here, jobs are the cornerstone of any city region and for us the maritime sector is a major employer.

By Anonymous