Rimrose Valley Country Park – Are Sefton Tories backing Highways England plan for new road through it?

Rimrose Valley Country Park map.

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:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/tory-councillor-wants-new-road-15499566

Rimrose in the foreground and its threat in the background

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?

Rimrose Valley Country Park – Where’s that unwelcome new road proposal up to?

Rimrose Valley Country Park map.

The things you find when Bob is deep into transportation research in this case via the Built bEnvironment Networking web site.

www.built-environment-networking.com/manchester-metro-expansion/

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.

Idyllic view of Rimrose Valley Country Park

More news on this big local issue when I get it.

With thanks to Bob Robinson for the lead to this posting

Rimrose Valley Country Park – 20th May demonstration against Highways England’s proposed road through it

Rimrose Valley Country Park

Sunday, 20th May, 2018 from 10am

Meeting at the Rimrose Valley Beach Road Entrance, L21 2PP. If you’ve made any signs and banners, please bring them along

For full details please check out the Rimrose Valley Friends Web site via the link below:-

www.rimrosevalleyfriends.org/events/3199/

Access to the Port of Liverpool – Some good news at last to boost rail freight

Class 66 Diesel Locos at Seaforth Container Terminal

From a Merseytravel briefing

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Peel Ports partners with DB Cargo for first rail freight service

Peel Ports has partnered with the freight company, DB Cargo UK to provide a new rail service for containers via the Port of Liverpool for the first time. The new service provides shipping lines, forwarders, tank operators and cargo-owners with a seamless route, between the quayside at Liverpool and Scotland. The first service is due to start on 8th May, with goods loaded in Liverpool and transferred to Mossend terminal in Glasgow, before onward delivery to destinations across Scotland. The returning service to Liverpool will carry Scottish goods for export, with a large portion destined for America. Visit the Peel Ports website for more information.

www.peelports.com/news/2018/peel-ports-partners-with-db-cargo-for-first-rail-freight-service

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Although this is clearly a step in the right direction in terms of getting freight to and from the Port of Liverpool it will in reality only scratch the surface with the vast majority of containers being taken to and from the port via road haulage along the now beyond capacity A5036 Dunnings Bridge Road to Switch Island.

Rimrose Valley Country Park

So the move is not going to stop Highways England’s proposal to construct a new road right through Rimrose Valley Country Park. Sadly the fight against that road must continue.

Port of Liverpool Access – Rimrose Valley Friends meet Peel Ports

www.rimrosevalleyfriends.org/news/whose-road-is-it-anyway-our-meeting-with-peel-ports/

There is an interesting report of the meeting on Rimrose Valley Friends web site – see link above

Having covered this issue numerous times on this blog site I have to say that in my humble opinion this matter started to go wrong many, many years ago when it was first mooted that the Peel were thinking of expanding at Seaforth.

What should have happened back then was a detailed access study (involving residents from the potentially affected communities) to look at all the implications – positive and negative – of such an expansion. I also think that study should have been commissioned by Sefton Council, working with what was then the Highways Agency and Network Rail or its forerunner Railtrack. But such a move was not made – Why?

The issue came up during my time as a Sefton Councillor but my very clear recollection is of being told that Bootle’s councillors were not keen on leading the issue. If I understood what I was told correctly they seemed to look upon the Port as a troublesome neighbour. My take on this is that without the Council taking the lead the the Highways Agency and Network Rail were never going to look at holistic transport/access solutions on their own and they didn’t.

The matter was not helped by the planning application for the works to the Port being dealt with by Government rather than the local authority as it kept the issue under local radars. Yes I know that Sefton Planning Dept. will have had a hand in the planning process to some extent and that they will have reported to appropriate councillors but at the end of the day if the application had been dealt with locally the implications of access to the port would have been dragged to the surface much sooner.

However we got here the cart (building the enlarged Part) got before the horse (access to the enlarged Port) and if that does not show how poor and muddled headed UK Planning processes are I don’t know what does. Sadly, however, we are where we are and the ‘solution’ put before us is driving a new road through a Country Park! You really could not make this up, could you?

Rail tunnels under Liverpool – A more environmentally sustainable solutuion to the Port of Liverpool access difficulties

Liverpool 2’s massive new container cranes

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/stunning-pictures-reveal-secret-tunnels-14081033

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

With all the objections to the Highways England ‘let’s build a new road through the Rimrose Valley Country Park’ preferred solution to try to solve the expanding Port of Liverpool’s access difficulties these old tunnels under the City may well be a far better and more environmentally sustainable solution.

For goodness sake expanding the rail access to the Port is the solution and the tunnels are already there. What’s more the present rail link to the Port is underused.

With thanks to Mike Penn for the lead to this posting