Hundreds protest against new road
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