Air quality in Sefton Borough

Air pollution has long been known to have a significant detrimental effect on all our lives, indeed it shortens lives.

I decided to have a look in more detail at this matter following Rebecca Hanson bringing the matter to my attention again recently. A good source of information is Sefton Council’s own website and in particular the page linked below:-

www.sefton.gov.uk/environmental-protection/air-quality.aspx

If you follow the links with the one above there’s a wealth of information and detail to plough through.

As a cyclist I probably notice and am more obviously impacted on by diesel particulates as I’m often sat within queuing traffic at junctions and traffic lights. Indeed, I often wonder how some diesel vehicles are still on the road based on what’s coming from their exhaust pipes!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, why are Maghull’s circular buses not electric? And why for that matter aren’t the Royal Mail’s local delivery vans electric too? Both seem to be obvious, to me at least, for the ditching of diesel engines. I’m sure others could come up with additional examples where the routes are very local – maybe chemists prescription delivery vans, but you get my drift.

Not only is air pollution killing us it’s killing our planet!

Electric HGV’s powered by overhead lines – Is it a possible future?

From this to electrically powered HGV’s?

www.flickr.com/photos/mwmbwls/36419388584/in/contacts/

The link above is to a photo together with a short write up on Flickr but it’s really worth looking at as it could just be a possible future without diesel pollution.

Thinking of the air pollution in and around Bootle due to HGV’s accessing the Port of Liverpool (and of course HGV pollution everywhere else too) this must be looked at as a serious alternative to us all being poisoned by traffic pollution.

My friend Bob, who provided the lead to this posting says – I think the point to stress is that this is still experimental and that there would be a host of road management issues to address such as how overtaking would be organised; how to integrate with existing cars and non electric trucks at motorway junctions. There is also a big debate looming about platooning HGVs using anti collision technologies. It may be that dedicated truck ways are the answer – similar to the Leigh busway- although the trough/ dolly wheel steering guidance system could probably be obsolete by then.

The big plus would be if the existing road from the docks was put into a tunnel – electric trucks would be ideal for underground operation.

Photo credit on Flickr link is to Siemens.

A5036/Rimrose Valley – formal road consultation about to start

Peel's cranes at Liverpool 2's deep water river berth for colossal sized contain ships, Seaforth.

Peel’s cranes at Liverpool 2’s deep water river berth for colossal sized contain ships, Seaforth.

Here’s what Highways England are up to over the highly contentious project to provide increased road capacity to Liverpool 2/Seaforth Docks – see link to and extract from the Highways England web site below:-

roads.highways.gov.uk/projects/a5036-port-of-liverpool-access/

Progress report

We have been working hard to complete our economic and environmental assessments.

We have used our findings from these assessments, as well as the feedback received during the public awareness exhibitions in February 2016, to develop the options which we will consult on shortly.

The options are:

option A – upgrading the existing A5036 road with junction improvements
option B – a new dual carriageway bypass through the Rimrose Valley

What next?

We will be launching the 6 week public consultation on the shortlisted options in January 2017. During the consultation period, we’d like to hear your views on the options. The consultation will help us further refine options and select the best performing option to take forward to the next stage of design. This will be your opportunity to tell us what you think of the proposals, what works, what concerns you may have, and give us any local or specialist knowledge.

Links to the consultation documents, as well as details explaining how to respond, will be available here from 16 January 2017.

Once the consultation has closed in February 2017, we will analyse all responses and compile them into a consultation report summarising the feedback received. We will then refine the option designs, incorporating the comments provided where practicable and complete our assessment work.

We will then announce the preferred route option for the A5036 Port of Liverpool Access scheme in spring 2017.

This of course follows hot on the heels of SCAR (Sefton Communities Against Roadbuilding) being launched. My recent posting refers:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/12/09/launch-of-scar-to-fight-road-building-plans-to-access-port-of-liverpool/

I don’t think there are surprises in the latest Highways England announcement but it is clearly going to ratchet up community concerns in Litherland, Netherton and Seaforth about this most controversial of issues.

Greenpeace – Air pollution is responsible for cutting short 40,000 lives in the UK every year.

pollution
secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/air-pollution-national?source=em&subsource=20160413apem01&utm_source=gpeace&utm_medium=em&utm_campaign=20160413apem01

Please consider supporting the Greenpeace petition available via the link above

Air pollution is responsible for cutting short 40,000 lives in the UK every year. It’s time for this government to take robust and steadfast action to address this national health emergency. Please create a bold action plan that cleans our air, reduces pollution and saves lives

I have raised concerns like this before on this very blog site in relation to HGV’s accessing the Port of Liverpool. Bootle in particular is a concern for air pollution locally but we are kidding ourselves if we think that it is not a problem for us all. The inside of own vehicles is often an air pollution hot spot as the air circulation systems suck pollutants in. You can help to reduce this problem by recirculating the air in your vehicle but you need to try to anticipate where and when to do this. I do it when I realise I am coming up behind a HGV or diesel taxi for instance.

Rimrose Valley – The road down the middle of it – The subject Labour has hoped would go away

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/public-meetings-over-proposed-200m-10842216

Rimrose Valley Country Park - Picture c/o the Liverpool Echo

Rimrose Valley Country Park – Picture c/o the Liverpool Echo

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

I have posted about this many times before. My last posting is available below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/12/23/south-sefton-rimrose-valley-country-park/

This has long been the subject that Labour-led Sefton Council has not wanted to discuss let alone vote upon. Their approach seems to have been one of the odd bit of hand wringing, the odd mutter along the lines of -don’t talk about i – and a hope that the Highways Agency (now Highways England) will cop the blame for it. If that passes for community leadership then I’m a Dutchman.

But with a couple of info-leaflets doing the rounds in recent times from Highways England and now some public events it will be interesting to see Labour councillors hopping from one foot to the other whilst trying not to commit themselves. Or am I being too cynical?

Access to the Port of Liverpool – Looks like those in power (but not the Council) are finally talking to us!

The present Seaforth Docks and hinterland

The present Seaforth Docks and hinterland

www.liverpoollep.org/core-sectors/superport/

I have commented on access to the Port of Liverpool at Seaforth numerous times and been very critical of the lack of communication about and the long-term planning for the virtually complete River Berth which will receive Post-Panamax size container ships.

Firstly, there’s a link at the top of this posting to Liverpool City Region/Liverpool Enterprise Partnership. Some of my most recent postings are also available below:-

JUNE 2015 – tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/06/26/access-to-the-port-of-liverpool-getting-there-slowly/

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

SEPTEMBER 2015 – tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/09/23/seaforth-docks-river-berth-more-environmental-consequences/

But as well as the article on the City Region web site there is issue No.1 of a newsletter doing the rounds from Highways England. It can be accessed via the link below. Look particularly at the Publications tab:-

www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/a5036-port-of-liverpool-access

Seaforth Docks seen from the Mersey with work going on to construct the river berth for Post-Panamax ships in August 2015.

Seaforth Docks seen from the Mersey with work going on to construct the river berth for Post-Panamax ships in August 2015.

So things are starting to happen in terms of engaging the people of Bootle, Seaforth, Netherton and South Sefton generally and not before time! However, I still think that Sefton Council should have been leading this process rather than peering out at what’s going on from the long grass hoping
no one will realise they are involved in this vital transport/environmental matter.

ACL container ship Atlantic Compass at Seaforth Dock.

ACL container ship Atlantic Compass at Seaforth Dock.

Is it really such a bright idea to consider putting a new road right through the middle of Rimrose Valley Country Park?!

Also, nothing much at all about rail access (I continue to note) which could have a really beneficial contribution to make in terms of getting polluting diesel lorries off Seaforth, Bootle and Netherton roads/the A5036. What are Network Rail doing/planning? Indeed, what are Sefton Council doing – hoping all this will slip through without them needing to get their hands dirty?

The 3rd/last photo in this posting is also on my Flickr page at:-

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

With thanks to John H for the lead to this story.