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
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.
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?
The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above – but the quote from that article below does not really take us any further forward.
‘Funding has been secured to upgrade the A5036 Princess Way – through Seaforth and Litherland – which links Liverpool’s ports to the motorway network.
This upgrade was announced last summer as part of the Liverpool Local Growth Deal.’
This has been a subject that Sefton Council, in particular, has not been at all keen to talk about. Indeed, getting behind this story to gain some detail over recent months has been like pulling teeth.
So now the cat is completely out of the bag can we please be told how this upgrade of the A5036 is to proposed to be achieved and the environmental and community impacts of such proposals? It is no use doing deals behind closed doors just to impose an already agreed solution on South and East Sefton’s communities
I have posted about pollution issues/concerns a number of times previously on this blog site but it is worth remembering that such concerns go back a while. Have a look at this excellent Bootle mural.
It is on a former railway tunnel which is now a pedestrian walkway under Merseyrail’s New Strand Station. I have published photos of many of the other murals in this tunnel on this site and on my Flickr site in recent times.
Click on the photo to enlarge it.
The photo above is amongst those on my Flickr site at:-
A campaign has been launched warning people of the dangers of air pollution.
Air Aware in Sheffield also gives people information on what they can do to reduce it. Poor air quality has been blamed for up to 500 premature deaths a year in Sheffield and annual health costs of £160m. Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment, recycling and street scene on the city’s council, said: “Sheffield aspires to be a city where health inequalities are reduced and air is healthy for all to breathe. It would be great if everybody could use their cars a little less, and cycle or walk a little more. Even giving up the car just one day a week would make a huge difference.”
The Yorkshire Post ran this article but my interest in it goes back to the air pollution issues that I have raised before associated with the docks, Dunningsbridge Road and parts of Bootle generally. My couple of my previous postings are linked below:-
The Times newspaper ran this recently:-
New figures from the Government have revealed that people in most towns and cities are being exposed to illegal air pollution. A report submitted to the European Commission showed that the EU’s limit for nitrogen dioxide pollution was exceeded in 38 out of 43 areas of the UK last year. The only five areas to comply with the NO2 limit were: Scottish Borders, Highland, Northern Ireland, Preston, and Blackpool.
A big concern in my book and one that will affect the health of huge numbers of people.