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Borough council wins permission for challenge over proposed dual carriageway

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council has won permission to take Highways England to judicial review over what the local authority has said was a flawed consultation on a local road scheme.

The dispute concerns a proposal to build a dual carriageway through the Rimrose Valley country park to improve access to the port at Liverpool.

Sefton has argued that a tunnel option should have been included in the consultation instead of just the new road or an improvement of the busy A5036.

Objectors argue that the new road would damage the Rimrose Valley country park.

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Council leader Ian Maher said: “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.”

Cllr Maher said the failure to include the tunnel option had deprived residents of the opportunity to express support for it.

“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,” he said.

A Highways England spokesperson said: “We are obviously disappointed that this issue will now proceed to the High Court, not least because of the inevitable delay this will mean in delivering this vital investment in the Port of Liverpool route and the benefits we believe it will deliver for people in the area as well as the local and regional economy.”

Mark Smulian

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