Court grants Sefton‘s application for Judicial Review into flawed Highways England consultation

The courts have granted Sefton‘s application for Judicial Review into the flawed Highways England consultation over Rimrose Valley.

Leader of Sefton Council Cllr Ian Maher, said: “I’m pleased that the court has granted us permission to proceed with our application for a Judicial Review to look into what we believe is a flawed consultation by Highways England when they decided that their preferred option was to build a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley.

“When Highways England first announced that they would only be taking forward two options to ease traffic on the A5036 – a revamped A5036 Dunnings Bridge Road, which is already one of the busiest roads in the north, or a new £200m road through Rimrose Valley Park in Litherland – we told them that neither option would deliver the necessary benefits for our communities and to consult on a third option to build a tunnel.

“Yet they completely disregarded this approach and ploughed on with a flawed consultation which is why we had no alternative but to apply for a judicial review.

“Getting to this next stage means that the legal system clearly recognises that we have grounds to challenge the way the whole process has been handled.

“Their failure to include the tunnel as an option in the consultation process has deprived our residents of the opportunity to express a view – which is why we want to take action.

“Our case has been deemed to have enough evidence to take legal action and we’ll now prepare a strong case for the Judicial Review.

“We will fight this to ensure that that Highways England is ordered to re-open the consultation again, and give our communities a proper opportunity to be consulted on the tunnel option.

“Of course it is not too late for Highways England to reconsider their position, start their consultation process again including the tunnel option and avoid the need for ongoing legal action.

“We hope that common sense prevails.”

New road safety strategy for the Liverpool City Region given the green light

The Liverpool City Region’s Road Safety Strategy 2017-2020 was approved at today’s Liverpool City Region Combined Authority meeting.  This three year strategy aims to reduce the number of those killed and seriously injured on Merseyside’s roads.

The plan outlines the methods and measures that will be used by partners who make up the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership – Merseyside District Councils, Merseytravel, Merseyside Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, North West Ambulance Service, Highways England, and the health sector.  This has also been shared with the Cheshire Road Safety Partnership covering the Halton borough, who will be adopting a similar approach.

The measures and methods used to help achieve safer roads include education (promoting road safety messages through targeted campaigns and training), enforcement (ensuring road users adhere to safety measures that have been implemented, particularly driving at a safe speed) and engineering (identifying and introducing remedial measures to improve road safety and ensuring new highway projects operate safely).

Cllr Liam Robinson, Transport portfolio lead for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said “We all have a role to play to ensure our roads are safer and the number of accidents and injuries on our roads are reduced.  We can play our part, but we also need our residents and road users to play their part too by listening to and taking on board the information around road safety awareness and adhering to road safety law, particularly around speed limits and to not be distracted whilst driving, for example, by using your mobile phone.”

The strategy also includes targeted action plans to keep cyclists, motorcycle users, senior road users and pedestrians safe on and around Merseyside’s roads.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram added “I want the Liverpool City Region to be safe for all road users, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians alike and through collaborative working, we can achieve more by pooling our resources and expertise.  Through this strategy, all agencies and road users have shared goals to work towards reducing the number of casualties and fatalities on our roads.”

Jane Kennedy, Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, said “Every death or serious injury on the roads of Merseyside is one too many. By working together to manage education, enforcement and engineering, we hope that Merseyside’s roads will be safer.

“From an enforcement perspective, Merseyside Police will play its part by ensuring those disregarding road safety are robustly dealt with through the appropriate penalties, but we can reduce the need for enforcement action through better education, awareness and understanding the consequences if people continue to flout the law.”

Take a look at the full strategy here.

Proposals to improve access to the Port of Liverpool

Highways England was asked by the government as part of the Roads Investment Strategy (December 2014) to look at ways to improve road access to the Port of Liverpool.

Since June 2016,  Highways England have been working hard to complete their economic and environmental assessments.

The consultation will begin on Monday 16 January 2017 through until Monday 27 February 2017.

If you have any questions, would like more information about the scheme or consultation process or you would like hard copies of this newsletter to distribute to family, friends, neighbours or work colleagues, please email A5036PortofLiverpool@highwaysengland.co.uk.

Alternatively, please check their website – further information will be available once the consultation has gone live – http://roads.highways.gov.uk/projects/a5036-port-of-liverpool-access/.