Mersey port protest organisers ‘blown away’ by response

Hundreds of people attended the Save Rimrose Valley march and rally at the Port of Liverpool against a new dual carriageway that would cut a country park in two. Tony McDonough reports

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


Organisers of a protest at the Port of Liverpool against a new duel carriageway that would cut an existing country park in two say they were “blown away” by the hundreds of people who turned out.

Peel Ports has expanded the Port of Liverpool in the last few years, investing hundreds of millions of pounds into its Liverpool2 terminal to handle 95% of the biggest container ship in the world.

However, getting the increased volumes of freight in and out of the port requires an upgrade in local transport infrastructure. In 2017, Highways England proposed a new dual carriageway cutting through the existing Rimrose Valley Country Park.

Highways England claims the road would actually reduce pollution from lorries coming to and from the port. There was a public consultation on the plan to upgrade the current A5036 Liverpool Port Access Road. However, many people living nearby claim all the current options are unacceptable.

Last Friday, hundreds of people came put for a public demonstration against the road plans organised by the Save Rimrose Valley campaign. Bootle Labour MP Peter Dowd joined the demonstration along with representatives from the countryside charity CPRE, Friends of the Earth and Asthma UK.

They delivered a letter to the port addressed to Peel Ports chief executive, Mark Whitworth, demanding the company withdraws its support for the road and gets behind a “truly sustainable solution”.

Save Rimrose Valley
Save Rimrose Valley campaigners at the Port of Liverpool. Picture by Gavin Trafford


Stuart Bennett, of the Save Rimrose Valley campaign ,said: “We were blown away by the huge turnout for our latest demonstration.  Yet again, the communities of South Sefton and people from across the Liverpool city region showed just how much they care about Rimrose Valley.

“Families and friends came together to create a wonderful, positive atmosphere and their amazing banners and placards delivered powerful messages. It was a day that will live long in the memory.

“The march’s purpose was to disrupt the Port of Liverpool’s operations and to shine a light on Peel Ports’ major stake in this road proposal, despite their public silence on the matter.  We believe we did that, and that it will become harder and harder for them to ignore us.

Crispin Truman of CPRE added: “We know from decades of research, evidence and painful experience that new roads do nothing to tackle congestion. Rimrose Valley is another example of what’s at stake with the Government’s tarmac and be damned approach.

“In light of our increased appreciation of green space, it beggars belief that this well used country park on the doorsteps of thousands of families is at risk of becoming a thoroughfare for cars and trucks.”

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