Please access the link below for the latest news from Rimrose Valley Friends about their environmental work and campaign to try to stop Highways England building a new access road to the Port of Liverpool through their beautiful county park:-
Anyone who tries to negotiate the hugely complex Switch Island will have seen that the recent upgrade/safety works by Highways England have all but been completed. The big question now is will it be any safer?
I’ve commented on this matter many times before as both a driver and indeed as a cyclist as I have witnessed driver behaviour.
To sum up, the problems as I have seen them are:-
* Too higher speeds approaching the junction
* Red light running/jumping
* Confused drivers veering from lane to lane
* Impatient regular users not allowing for the confused/lost drivers
One issue that comes quickly to mind is that towards the end of the M57 the speed has recently been reduced to 50mph and then even nearer to Switch Island to 40mph. That these new speed restrictions are almost completely ignored, you will not be surprised to hear, is pretty much all of the time. Indeed, the other day I reached the 50mph section, I slowed to 50 mph and had a horn blown at me because I had slowed down a fellow driver! My point being why are there not speed cameras on the approaches to Switch Island like at the end of the M62 as you near the Rocket in Liverpool?
Oh and another thing, this time from a cyclists perspective. Why have the street lamps which foul the cycle path around one part of Switch Island not been re-sited? Highways England have known about the problem for quite some time now:-
Defending Rimrose Valley Country Park from having a new road forced through it is a matter close to the hearts of many local people in Sefton Borough. To me, it’s always been an obvious and firm no on environmental grounds.
And then Keith Page brought my attention (see link below) to this article on the Liverpool Echo website:-
Does this mean that the official policy of Sefton Tories is to back the new road or are the comments of the Formby Conservative Councillor just his own views?
But what about the reason given for wanting the new road! Really, keeping our local country park free from vehicles is a far, far higher priority. Time for Sefton Tories to clarify their stance on this new road project – Are they backing it?
The things you find when Bob is deep into transportation research in this case via the Built bEnvironment Networking web site.
Tucked away in an article about Manchester’s expected 2040 strategy refresh (see link above) this quote pops up:
“Tim Gamon, regional delivery director at Highways England said the agency is currently developing scheme for Road Priority 2, which will cover its investment programme from 2020 to 2025.
Projects due to start work in March 2020 are a £135m congestion relief scheme on the A585 between Windy Harbour and Skippool, £52.8m improvements to junction 19 of the M6 and a £242m upgrade of west –east Trans-Pennine road links.
But he said that £227m plans to improve access for the Port of Liverpool via the A5036 Princess Way have hit a setback following a court challenge.
Opponents argue that Highways England had not considered tunnelling a section of the road, but Gamon said the £1.5bn cost of a tunnel would not have met the agency’s cost benefit analysis.
More news on this big local issue when I get it.
With thanks to Bob Robinson for the lead to this posting
The BBC has the latest story regarding the protests against the proposed new road on its web site – see link below:-
Separately I’m hearing, via informed railway sources, that the lack of progress with regard to improved rail freight facilities/rail connections to the Port of Liverpool may be putting Network Rail in the spotlight. It seems clear to me that the less containers that go by train to and from the Port then the more will have to go via road.
I also understand that the biomass trains from the Port to Drax Power Station need to travel by a more direct rail route to feed the ongoing demand. Having said that it’s debatable, to me, how long these wood pellet trains will run as the environmental benefits of the fuel are at best dubious.
Happy to correct anything in this posting if my sources are not correct.
Click on the photos to enlarge them
There is every danger that I’ll do this subject to death but the fact remains that building the new river berth at the Port of Liverpool well before the transport infrastructure to cope with the increased freight traffic was put in place was at best a very odd idea.
The Liverpool Echo has the story of the new river berth’s progress towards bringing in more and bigger ships to the port on its web site – see link below:-
Highways England announced recently that it intends to construct a brand new road down the Rimrose Valley Country Park to address the increasing port traffic and the opposition to that new road plan is gathering pace via the Rimrose Valley Friends whose web site can be accessed via the link below:-