Furious campaigners say ‘no’ to new road

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Save Rimrose Valley Protest Group. Pic © Stephen Rawlinson JMU Journalism

Angry campaigners say they will continue their fight to stop Highways England building a major new road which cuts across what they say is an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Protests took place on Thursday against Highways England as they held an information event about their projected bypass built across the Rimrose Valley between Crosby and Litherland.

Members of the Save Rimrose Valley campaign stood outside the Park Hotel on Dunnings Bridge Road in an effort to get encourage members of the community to say no to the scheme.

Highways England is hoping to build a new road due to the A5036 between the Switch Island Interchange and Princess Way suffering from severe congestion.

Over the next six months, boreholes will be dug to begin testing the land where the highway is due to be constructed.

Campaigner Stuart Bennett told JMU Journalism: “Highways England were given a job to sort access to and from the port of Liverpool and were instructed by the government to do so. What we are saying is we do not need another highway or roads in this part of Sefton and certainly not one four lanes wide and full of HGV vehicles.”

YouTube: Stephen Rawlinson

Situated in South Sefton, Rimrose Valley is a green space area that is home to wildlife including birds, bats and voles, with protesters claiming that the public consultation is insufficient.

Mr Bennett added: “Sections of Rimrose Valley are landfill. There is arsenic, asbestos, and other contaminants, so as part of the process they will be drilling into that. We want to demonstrate against that activity. We think whatever is buried should stay there.”

However, those behind the proposals say that while they can sympathise with any concerns, they insist that the public can still have a say on what eventually transpires.

Carl Stockton, Senior Project Manager for Highways England, told JMU Journalism: “I can understand why the Rimrose Valley group are upset because they have lost green area that they use for leisure facilities.

“I think what’s important is why we run these events because there seems to be a lot of confusion out there.

“The long-term solution we have chosen to use based on stakeholder feedback and the local community and environmental assessment case, is that for the long term resolution, the best solution is to build a road through Rimrose Valley.”

About Stephen Rawlinson, JMU Journalism