Diesel powered cars – seems we were all conned!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33254803

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

images

This thoughtful piece is worth a read because it does look like we were conned about the ‘benefits’ of diesel cars.

I for one was taken in and had a couple of diesel powered cars, maybe you were too?

‘Ground survey set to assess potential for Rimrose Valley road’

This was the headline in the Champion newspaper on 19th August and a sobering one it is too.

How many times have I commented on the complete lack of foresight and preparation for the soon to be completed river berth at Seaforth Docks? I lose count I really do but to consider churning up a Country Park for a relief road beggars belief. My last posting is here:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/08/04/lancashire-life-magazine-expansion-at-seaforth-dock/

Yes I know the Highways Agency (now Highways England) has been considering this option for years now, so long indeed that no one can quite recall when they first thought of it!

Frankly this carry on is probably the biggest local scandal to afflict the south of Sefton Borough. With the river berth about to be opened later this year virtually nothing has been done (except for the recent works to the big roundabout in Seaforth) to address the increased HGV traffic and the air pollution it brings with it.

Seaforth Docks seen from the Mersey with work going on to construct the river berth for Post-Panamax ships.

Seaforth Docks seen from the Mersey with work going on to construct the river berth for Post-Panamax ships.

Click on the photo to enlarge it

It’s as though no one has realised or wanted to realise that building the river berth for much larger ships will have significant environmental consequences for Seaforth, Waterloo, Bootle, Netherton etc. Only in the UK could we get ourselves into such a muddle of wishing an end result (bigger ships, better port facilities, more trade etc.) without at the same time planning for the movement of freight from the docks to the Motorway network and onto the rail network. Yet here we are in that muddle and one of the ‘solutions’, possibly the only one we presently know of, is to build a new road right through a County Park in a densely populated area.

Where are the improved rail facilities up to? Who if anyone is planning for them? Do Network Rail have a project in their sights to use the rail freight facility in its present guise to its greatest potential? Is the mothballed Aintree – Bootle line going to be brought back into use to help expand the rail freight capacity? Is the Seaforth dock railway link to be electrified so to relieve the communities living near to the rail line from diesel pollution?

So many questions but only a new road through a Country Park on the agenda or so it seems!

The photo above is also amongst on by Flickr page at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Lancashire Life Magazine – Expansion at Seaforth Dock

Thumbing through a July 2015 copy of this magazine in a local coffee shop I came across a really positive spin article about the new river berth dock at Seaforth and the extra freight traffic that will go through it from later this year.

The present Seaforth Docks and hinterland

The present Seaforth Docks and hinterland

This is a subject I have comment on before but this article really brought home to me how out of sync Sefton Council, the Highways Agency and Network Rail are with the project.

The obvious question is why have these public sector agencies and the Council not brought forward, for public inspection and consultation, any firm proposals to deal with freight access to the port bearing in mind that increased levels of heavy good lorries are going to be thundering through Netherton & Bootle very soon indeed?

It’s not as if they don’t know about the port expansion or the negative consequences that it could well have on the environment and the Netherton/Bootle/Seaforth communities. Indeed, they have known about it for a long, long time.

To quote from the Lancashire Life article it says ‘In December this year Peel Ports massive new Liverpool complex comes into operation’ and ‘It’s been a long time in the planning’.

Well one thing is for sure the Council, Highways Agency and Network Rail seem to have been a long time in the snoozing as goodness knows how long it will be before they have a solution to the increased lorries and associated air pollution that they bring to the south Sefton communities.

Seaforth – Peel’s new river berth construction moves forward BUT…..

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/watch-construction-work-300m-liverpool2-9482897

The present Seaforth Docks and hinterland

The present Seaforth Docks and hinterland

The Liverpool Echo has the story of the construction – see link above.

BUT, what is happening with regard to how goods are going to get to and from the port when the new river berth has been constructed and is in use? The Echo article makes reference to transhipment down the Manchester Ship Canal but that is not where all the addition freight is going to go.

Sefton Council, The Highways Agency, Network Rail and Liverpool City Council have been ‘looking into this’ for years yet we know precious little about the proposed solutions that are actually going to be proposed. Yes there’s been a lot of talk and speculation but real hard facts on which residents living near to the port and along the A5036 corridor to Switch Island can be fully consulted upon is hard to find indeed.

Is the old Aintree – Bootle freight railway line, which has been mothballed for years, going to be opened up again?

Do the Council really want to drive a new road down the Rimrose Valley Country Park?

What are the noise and air pollution consequences going to be of hundreds of additional diesel powered lorries thundering through Seaforth, Litherland and Netherton?

Is it not about time all this was debated in the open so that we all know what’s going on?

Pollution in cities could raise dementia risk as UK breaches EU limits

Scientists have found that breathing in polluted air in cities could raise the risk of dementia and stroke in middle age. The study, published in the journal Stroke, found that levels of fine particles commonly found in urban areas were associated with smaller brain structures and of covert brain infarcts — a type of “silent” stroke caused by a blockage in the blood vessels that supply the brain.

The Times newspaper covered this story

Pollution is a subject often comment upon via this blog site and here is another connection between airborne pollution in our cities and associated health risks.

Government must act on air pollution

The UK’s Supreme Court has ruled that the government must take immediate action to reduce air pollution, after the nation breached EU limits on nitrogen dioxide, which is primarily emitted from diesel vehicles and causes a range of respiratory illnesses. The Environment Department responded that it had already begun drawing up revised plans to meet EU targets, after campaigners ClientEarth brought the case to court.

Financial Times, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, & The Guardian covered this second

When the Tories and UKIP get the UK out of the EU who will set limits for pollution then? No one will and we will take another step back into the dark ages!