Hun­dreds protest against new road

Midweek Visiter - - St Joseph’s Hospice -

SEFTON Cen­tral MP Bill Ester­son and Boo­tle col­league Peter Dowd joined hands across the val­ley with hun­dreds of pro­tes­tors in a show of op­po­si­tion against a con­tro­ver­sial £250m new road.

High­ways Eng­land main­tains that the route will be built through Rim­rose Val­ley Coun­try Park to ease con­ges­tion from the Port of Liver­pool to Switch Is­land.

But the plans have been heav­ily crit­i­cised by res­i­dents, coun­cil­lors and lo­cal MPs, and Sefton Coun­cil have launched a ju­di­cial re­view into the High­ways Agency’s de­ci­sion.

Mr Ester­son said: “Join­ing hands across the val­ley was a sym­bolic show of sol­i­dar­ity – our views will not be ig­nored by this gov­ern­ment or by High­ways Eng­land.

“If this were in the South, a tun­nel would have been con­sid­ered, but that wasn’t even one of the op­tions on the ta­ble for Rim­rose Val­ley.

“The air qual­ity for those liv­ing near the Port and on Dun­nings Bridge Road is some of the worst in the coun­try.

“Adding to the traf­fic lev­els on Dun­nings Bridge Road would have made mat­ters worse but that doesn’t mean the an­swer is to build a road through Rim­rose Val­ley.

“Stone­henge gets a tun­nel cost­ing £1.4bn. The Lower Thames Cross­ing will cost more than £4bn.

‘‘But we’re told £1.5bn for a tun­nel here is not good value for money. It is lu­di­crous.”

Along­side hun­dreds of pro­tes­tors, the MPs were joined by a num­ber of lo­cal coun­cil­lors at the event where sev­eral speak­ers at­tacked High­ways Eng­land and the Gov­ern­ment.

Last year High­ways Eng­land an­nounced, fol­low­ing a con­sul­ta­tion, that they would build the £250m road, and have be­gun prepara­tory works.

Mr Ester­son said: “The res­i­dents feel badly let down and that was ap­par­ent at the protest, which won’t be the last.

“I fully sup­port the cam­paign against the road and the ju­di­cial re­view by Sefton Coun­cil.”

Bill Ester­son MP and Peter Dowd MP with a pro­tes­tor at Rim­rose Val­ley Coun­try Park

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