£250m Rimrose highway ‘kicked into long grass’

Already delayed plans to build a £250m dual carriageway close to the Port of Liverpool are put back another three years with doubts now cast over the entire project. Tony McDonough reports

Rimrose Valley Country Park would be cut in half by the proposed highway. Picture by Status Imagery


A £250m project to build a new dual carriageway close to the Port of Liverpool has been put back by at least another three years.

National Highways first unveiled plans for the Port of Liverpool Access Road in 2017. It is designed to alleviate congestion on Dunningsbridge Road. Work was sipped to begin on the scheme in 2020.

It would see Rimrose Valley Country Park cut in half by the proposed A5036 Princess Way. A pressure group – Save Rimrose Valley – was formed in 2017 to fight the proposals.

In April 2022 National Highways told LBN it was still “fully committed” to the three-and-a-half mile dual carriageway. However, by September Labour MPs Peter Dowd and Bill Esterson, and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, urged the Government to rethink the plan.

Now Transport Secretary, Mark Harper has further delayed the project. He has moved it into the next period of Road Investment Strategy projects, collectively known as RIS3, to be developed between 2025 and 2030.

Mr Harper said: “The A27 Arundel and A5036 Princess Way in Liverpool both face a range of challenges including environmental considerations and ongoing scope and design changes to ensure stakeholders’ views are fully considered.”

Stuart Bennett of the Save Rimrose Valley campaign said that if the Transport Secretary was serious about considering stakeholders’ views then he would go a step further and cancel what he called “this disastrous road proposal”.


Save Rimrose Valley
A demo organised by Save Rimrose Valley at the Port of Liverpool. Picture by Brian Lavery


“There are better, more sustainable ways to cater for the Port of Liverpool’s expansion which must be prioritised if we’re to truly tackle issues around air quality in our borough and road transport’s climate-wrecking CO2 emissions,” said Stuart.

“National Highways is paying the price for the ‘divide and conquer’ approach it took when consulting our communities. It offered two, equally unpalatable road developments and completely underestimated the level of opposition to its plans.

“We are calling on everyone in South Sefton to unite in demanding better solutions to port access which protect both our green space and remove HGVs from our existing road network, improving living conditions along the existing A5036 corridor. “

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