The leaders of Sefton Council have rejected both Highways England options for upgrading the A5036 to improve access to the Port of Liverpool.
A public consultation on the A5036 Port of Liverpool Access Scheme has just finished.
The scheme is to cope with extra congestion on the dual carriageway linking the city to the port, and in particular Liverpool2, a new £400M deep-water container terminal which opened in November.
The two options on which Highways England has just finished consulting are to upgrade the existing A5036 road with junction improvements or to build a new dual carriageway bypass through the Rimrose Valley.
The council labelled the plans “superficial” due to the lack of technical detail. Sefton Council covers an area north of Liverpool city centre.
In a letter to Highways England, Sefton Council Labour leader Ian Maher and chief executive Margaret Carney said: “In our view you have treated this exercise as a technical road building process rather than seeing the real impact of the proposals on local people.”
They added: “It is disappointing that only the highways element is being considered rather than a holistic multi modal solution.”
Instead, the two leaders area calling for a tunnel option to be considered.
Sefton Council says the upgrade option does not appear to addess how the impact of additional traffic will be mitigated. In addition, it says that the Rimrose Valley is vital green space and the plans threaten the ecology and environment.
The response letter from Maher and Carney said an option of linking the port and the motorway network via a tunnel should be looked at.
“We assert that the results of the financial and technical assessment of a tunnel option should have been made available and that the public and other stakeholders should have been given the opportunity to comment on that option. It is vital that those who will be affected by the proposals have confidence that all potential options have been properly assessed and that the process for deciding on which option should be taken forward is both robust and transparent,” said the letter.
A Highways England spokesperson said: “The consultation has just been completed and officers are currently collating the responses. We will not be in a position to comment on any response until we have completed this work.”