Mystery signs highlight bid to save park

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Rimrose Valley petition sign. Pic © Shelby Hamilton JMU Journalism

A campaigner has taken to creating mysterious and animated signs in an attempt to save a local country park from development plans.

Locals have noticed the signs, which urge people to join the petition to save Rimrose Valley, popping up all around the nature reserve north of Litherland.

So far there is a frog, a fox in an Uncle Sam recruitment style pose, a world strangulated by roads asking to ‘stop suffocating us’, and a gravestone reading ‘RIP. Here lies Oxygen. Killed by car emissions’.

There is also a depiction of a bin filled with cash indicating that the money being spent on the road is being wasted.

In August last year, Highways England announced it would build a £250 million road on the site to help cope with traffic heading to the Port of Liverpool docks area.

It is not known who is making the signs opposing these plans, but fellow campaigners have praised the individual responsible.

Stuart Bennett, 40, of the Save Rimrose Valley Campaign, said: “It’s such a creative and clever way of getting the message across and its having a huge impact. Every single person who uses Rimrose Valley is seeing those signs on a daily basis.

YouTube: Shelby Hamilton

“They are not only helping to raise awareness of what is happening, but also calling on people to sign the petition and to make a stand.

“These signs are going a long way to changing the attitude of some within the community who see the road as a done deal. It is not. We applaud whoever is making them and urge others to follow their lead.”

Highways England decided that the best option for improving access to the Port of Liverpool was to build a new dual carriageway through the park. The other option being considered was to make further improvements to Church Road.

Officials say reasons for their choice is that the new bypass will meet the needs of future traffic growth, benefit the local economy and provide jobs. The new road will run from Switch Island to Princess Way, entering the park via Thornton and coming out by Seaforth.

Rimrose Valley canal. Pic © Shelby Hamilton JMU Journalism

A number of environmental surveys have been carried out through the summer and winter to observe the resident wildlife.

A spokesperson from Highways England told JMU Journalism: “We are working on ideas to help mitigate the impact of the new bypass on the country park, park users and people living nearby.

“[There is] a package of mitigation and environmental improvement measures, including landscaping, planted screening, noise barriers and improved leisure facilities and pedestrian and cyclist links through the valley.”

Work is expected to start on the dual carriageway in 2020.

About Shelby Hamilton, JMU Journalism