Stop the Dual Carriageway through Rimrose Valley

Stop the Dual Carriageway through Rimrose Valley

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Rimrose Valley Friends started this petition to Mark Harper (The Secretary of State for Transport)

National Highways (formerly Highways England), working for the UK Government, announced on 31st August 2017 that it intends to build a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley Country Park. The project, known as the A5036 Port of Liverpool Access Road, would facilitate thousands of HGV journeys each day to and from the port, right through the parkland, severing it from top to bottom.  It would create a physical barrier between communities which have been connected by the valley since it was formed.

Construction was due to start in 2020, but the project is years behind schedule.

In the intervening time we have learned that this issue is much more complicated than a simple 'stop the road' campaign. It has major, long-term implications for everyone in South Sefton and bordering communities. In addition, the climate emergency and Covid-19 pandemic mean that the world has changed and what may have been deemed acceptable infrastructure solution in the past, is no longer acceptable or credible.

We have therefore updated our petition to reflect this.

We object to this short-sighted, destructive road proposal because:

  • Non-road, sustainable solutions were never pursued by the Department for Transport before instructing National Highways. Further, the port was allowed to expand prior to any consideration being given to the necessary infrastructure required to support it, yet we stand to suffer the consequences.
  • The budget assigned to this scheme is insufficient, does not reflect the national, strategic importance of the port and is a fraction of what is spent on infrastructure in the south.
  • Over 40,000 deaths per year in the UK are attributable to poor air quality. HGVs are the worst polluters on our roads. In order to tackle this public health crisis, HGVs must be kept away from homes, schools and places of work and green spaces such as Rimrose Valley must be nurtured and protected for the clean air they provide.
  • Transport is the UK's biggest generator of climate-wrecking CO2 emissions. Roads and the traffic they support are one of the biggest contributors to this. Pursuing major roadbuilding projects flies in the face of the government's own declaration of a climate emergency.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated how vital access to green space is; particularly to families who have no garden of their own. Rimrose Valley was a lifeline to thousands during lockdown. It must be protected.
  • Access to green space is essential for our mental health and wellbeing. Being amongst green spaces tackles depression, anxiety and stress. Local health practitioners use Rimrose Valley as part of their 'social prescribing' programme.
  • Rimrose Valley is a vital, safe, clean and 'green' active travel corridor used by people to walk, run or cycle from A to B. Severing it in two would generate additional car journeys. Any routes that remain would be next to 4 lanes of polluting HGV traffic and deter visitors.
  • Rimrose Valley is essential habitat for countless species of flora and fauna and plays a vital role in countering the biodiversity crisis. It has two sites of local biological interest and is home to threatened species including bats, water voles and barn owls and roe deer can also be found on the park. A road would destroy and displace this incredible wildlife.
  • This public-funded project is to benefit the privately-owned port of Liverpool. This represents a mis-use of taxpayer's money, with residents of South Sefton effectively funding their own misery, to enable a private entity to expand its business.

We therefore call on the Secretary of State for Transport to intervene and to stop this madness before it's too late. We are demanding that:

  • National Highways' A5036 Port of Liverpool Access Scheme be cancelled with immediate effect
  • Non-road, sustainable solutions to the movement of freight in and out of the Port of Liverpool be pursued in its place.  These include rail, underground freight pipelines and the Manchester Ship Canal and other solutions outlined in Sefton Council's 2020 ARUP Report
  • These alternative solutions remove, or drastically reduce port-related HGV traffic from the existing A5036 route

This road proposal is the most short-sighted and worst possible option. We owe it to our children and future generations to look after what little green space we have left and to fight for better solutions to cater for the Port of Liverpool's never-ending expansion. We must not be made to suffer as a result of the bad decisions of others.

16,055 have signed. Let’s get to 25,000!
At 25,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on!