We all have so many questions. Over time we’ll develop this page so that anyone can come to one place and get the answers they need. It will be expanded and improved.
If you have a specific question that you think should be added to this FAQ document please email us by clicking here and sending your question in, but please understand that we’re very busy volunteers so it may take time to get your suggestion added, or it may be that we decide not to include your suggestion.
Q: What is Rimrose Valley?
A: It’s a 2.4 mile stretch of mainly unmanaged open space surrounded by the communities of Thornton, Ford, Litherland, Waterloo and Crosby. Home to many species of wildlife, plants and fungi, Rimrose Valley is an essential green space used by the tens of thousands of people who live around it as an escape from what is an otherwise heavily built up and traffic saturated area. Rimrose Valley is essential for the physical and mental health of the people who live near to it. It’s also a green transportation route, making it possible for people to get between communities on foot or bike, easily, healthily and quickly.
Q: Why does Rimrose Valley need to remain road free?
A: A road through Rimrose Valley will severely harm the tens of thousands of people who live around it and deprive future generations of the last remaining essential green space in the area. With some severe pockets of deprivation and a heavily built up and pollution ridden environment, Rimrose Valley is all many people have to maintain a positive state of health and wellbeing. If a road were to go ahead, we will suffer the long term losses, and all for a project that will serve no benefit to us whatsoever.
Q: Why does Highways England want to build a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley?
A: Highways England has been commissioned by the UK Government to solve the current and future traffic congestion problems along the A5036 Church Road/Dunningsbridge Road corridor by building a new road through Rimrose Valley. It isn’t within H.E. remit to come up with non-road options, their mandate is to build a road on the order of the UK Government.
Q: Why does the UK Government want to build a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley?
A: The Government decided in 2005 to appoint Peel Ports to develop the Port of Liverpool to become an major UK port of national significance. This was done to ease pressure on other ports around the UK, and to facilitate the ease of cargo transit across the Atlantic, to avoid ships having to travel around to the other side of the UK. The anticipated increase in cargo means it has to be transported to and from the rest of the UK, and the UK Government believes that despite all non-road options being exploited to the full a road is necessary to meet the future demand.
Q: Why not use rail?
A: We’ve been told that rail will be used as much as possible, however even at maximum capacity rail will not meet the transit demands of the Port of Liverpool. The question of reusing old rail lines has been rejected for two reasons. Firstly the cost and impact of reusing old rail lines will exceed the cost of a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley, and secondly the national rail infrastructure is already close to saturation, meaning that even if freight were to leave the Port of Liverpool by rail, it wouldn’t be possible to efficiently transit it to it’s destination using the existing national rail network. As well as rail, cargo will be transported via UK waterways. This is part of the strategy, but even with the waterways and rail plans, we’re being told that a road is mandatory to meet the demands of the future.
Q: Why couldn’t the A5036 Dunningsbridge Road/Church Road be expanded?
A: This is simply not a viable option either. The people who live along that route already suffer some of the worst pollution levels in Europe and they have to endure some terrible illnesses as a result. Many who live along that route have lived there for decades and have slowly seen their environment destroyed by traffic and pollution which in itself is a travesty. We stand in solidarity with the people who live along that route in saying NO to any more surface road development. It’s killing them and we will do all we can to protect them, our neighbours.
Q: Is it not reasonable that Highways England gave two options, and we had to pick one?
A: For Highways England to provide us all with two destructive, immoral and lazy options is totally unacceptable. Other viable options have been ignored. We just have to look at initiatives in other parts of the world to see how progressive and forward thinking governments have learned how to solve complex transportation problems with innovation and investment, so that the people can be cared for and not trodden on and carelessly cast aside as if worthless. The UK Government has a lot to learn in this regard and we call for an immediate change in attitude and mindset towards the public.
Q: If Sefton council owns the land, why can’t they prevent the building of a road?
A: Highways England has compulsory purchase powers
Q: Is the decision to build a dual carriageway final?
A: Currently it is final as far as Highways England is concerned, however there now follows a process which will involve the Planning Inspectorate reviewing the plans to determine whether they believe them to be legal and appropriate, and having been created using the right processes. The public and groups with a local interest will get to say what they think. Eventually Highways England will hope that the Planning Inspectorate will approve the plans at which point they will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport, currently Chris Grayling, who will make the final decision.
Q: What can I do to help?
A: A few things:
- Sign our petition by clicking here
- Share our petition – get all your friends, family and neighbours to support us by signing it
- Become a Rimrose Valley Friend by clicking here. It’s free to do and it means that firstly you’re showing your support which is great for our morale, secondly it proves that we’re a voice for all of us, and thirdly it means that we can keep in touch with you and ask for help when needed
- Join our vibrant and active Facebook group by clicking here. There is a lot of discussion taking place, and people share their love for Rimrose Valley. It’s also a good way to stay involved.
- Follow us on Twitter – and please retweet our posts
- Look out for our events and join in. Joining in brings the communities together and, if the numbers are large enough, can get us publicity which helps our campaign.
- Donate! We’re all volunteers who don’t get paid a penny, and every penny we have is to be spent on protecting and nurturing Rimrose Valley. Please consider making a small donation, monthly if you can. Click here:
Q: What is the process that will happen up to the building of the road? What, will happen and when?
A: We’ve put together a Project Timeline showing how the legal planning process works and when things will happen. Please click here to view it. It’s subject to changing over time. In the meantime Sefton Council are mounting a legal challenge, called a “Judicial Review”.
Q: What is this “Judicial Review” that Sefton Council is undertaking?
A: The Leader of Sefton Council, Councillor Ian Maher, issued a public statement in October 2017, saying that Sefton Council will be mounting a Judicial Review of the process. A “Judicial Review” is a right that Sefton Council has to claim that Highways England has acted improperly. The grounds will be based on the fact that other more appropriate options, for instance a tunnel, were ruled out without due analysis and investigation. It’s believed that by adequately looking at the full impact of a surface road on the health and wellbeing of the local communities and by considering the return on investment over a longer period of time, other options currently ruled out will actually be viable and should be properly considered. A judge will hear the case and decide whether there are grounds to tell Highways England to go back to the drawing board and fully investigate other appropriate options.
Q: If Sefton Council is arguing that a tunnel is the only option, what will this tunnel be like and what route will it take?
A: The position of Sefton Council is that a tunnel is the only viable option. It isn’t for the council to come up with specific tunnel proposals, it’s for the council to legally challenge Highways England for not properly considering a tunnel. If it gets to the stage where Highways England will be properly evaluating a tunnel H.E. will, at that stage, determine the specific details such as the route it will take.
Q: What actions are the campaign team planning/doing?
A: Keep an eye on our latest news webpage to see what we’re up to, in particular look out on that page for our regular updates. When you sign up as a Rimrose Valley Friend you will be sent an email when we post a new news item on our website.
Q: Why are you only starting the campaign now when it should have started way back?
A: Rimrose Valley Friends started the campaign back in 2015, with our first of many announcements being on 17th August 2015 and we held a public meeting 2nd April 2015 that was attended by over 200 people.
Q: Could Peel Ports contribute to the cost of a better road alternative?
A: In 2005 the UK Government appointed Peel Ports to develop and run the Port of Liverpool and legislation was introduced to accommodate the decision. Part of the agreement was that the Government would remain responsible for developing the infrastructure so that freight could travel efficiently between the Port of Liverpool and the UK roads network. It is the Government’s responsibility to fund the solution and Peel Ports doesn’t have any obligation to be involved in what is done and how, or for the cost of building it.