Liverpool

Rimrose Valley bypass: Chris Grayling criticised for support

The current A5036 is heavily congested Image copyright Highways England
Image caption The current A5036 is heavily congested with traffic

Campaigners have condemned Chris Grayling for his continued support for a £250m bypass through a country park.

Highways England (HE) wants to build a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley in Litherland, Merseyside to ease congestion to the Port of Liverpool.

Friends of the Earth accused him of "making another blunder" by building a new road in the face of climate change.

But the transport secretary said noise nuisance, accidents and congestion would "only get worse" without it.

Friends of the Earth chief executive Craig Bennett wrote to Mr Grayling last month asking him to explore "sustainable alternatives" to the A5036 Port of Liverpool Access Scheme.

Mr Grayling said Highways England would work hard to "mitigate the environmental impact of the proposed bypass".

Image copyright Highways England
Image caption The Rimrose Valley bypass was proposed to ease congestion on the A5036

But Mr Bennett said: "Building new roads when time to avoid climate breakdown is running out is the latest in a long line of blunders from 'failing Grayling'.

"These plans need a radical rethink."

Stuart Bennett of Save Rimrose Valley said the "unpopular" bypass would have a "huge public health and environmental" impact.

Mr Grayling has been criticised for a series of transport policy mishaps, leading opponents to dub him "failing Grayling".

He was blamed for last summer's rail timetable chaos, after being accused of "shirking" his job by travelling to Qatar on the day of a rail fare hike.

In February this year, he faced calls from opposition MPs to step down after the cancellation of a no-deal Brexit contract with Seaborne Freight, a firm that had no ships.

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