Rimrose Valley Country Park – I had it all to myself early yesterday morning

I enjoy cycling down the Rimrose Valley, it’s a lovely green oasis amongst the hustle and bustle of the crowded part of Sefton Borough. So sad then that Highways England are to drive a new road right through the heart of it

Early last Sunday morning it felt like I had the whole valley to myself and then on the horizon the reason that the road is going to be built came into view (see photo above), the gantry cranes of Liverpool 2.

I’ve blogged about this more times than I care to recall as it has been one of the most ludicrous pieces of regional planning that you could imagine. Best described as a cart before horse scenario, the new deep water dock (built to cater for huge container ships) was constructed before the transport infrastructure needed to serve it was detailed, consulted upon or planning permission given – never mind even built.

You really would do well to make a story like this up. Now of course locals living around the Rimrose Valley are protesting about what Highways England are planning to construct through their green oasis. The latest news seems to be that Highways England are ploughing on regardless and they will not say when they are to start building the road so to keep the protestors on their toes. What a carry on………………

Click on the photos to enlarge them

The second photo is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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

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?

Guided bird watching stroll on Rimrose Valley – FREE

Rimrose Valley Country Park

Join Rimrose Valley Friends for an organised, Ranger-led walk for your enjoyment on Sunday 15th April, 2018 starting promptly at 10.30 from the St Mary’s Road Entrance.

Rimrose Valley Country Park is bursting with wildlife, including vast numbers of birds such as kestrels, sparrow hawks, buzzards, black caps, jays. See link below for more details:-

www.rimrosevalleyfriends.org/events/guided-bird-watching-stroll-on-rimrose-valley-free/

Rimrose Valley – Latest on campaign to try to stop road being driven through it

Rimrose Valley Country Park

www.rimrosevalleyfriends.org/news/press-release-our-response-to-latest-highways-england-newsletter/

www.rimrosevalleyfriends.org/news/the-clocks-ticking-highways-england-timeline/

Rimrose Valley Friends have the latest information on their web site – see links above