Bypass is best A5036 option
says Highways England
HIGHWAYS England has reiterated its
view that building a new bypass is the best option to replace the A5036 Port of
Liverpool route in Merseyside.
The company have confirmed it would formally
defend its decision to opt for a Bypass after Sefton Council applied for a
judicial review, on the basis that a tunnel option was not included as part of
the public consultation.
Following the consultation earlier this year, Highways England announced in
August it had decided to take forward the design of a new Bypass through,
Rimrose Valley rather than try to improve the existing route between the Port
and Switch Island junction where the road meets the M57 and M58 motorways.
Highways England chief executive Jim O
Sullivan said:- "The considerable cost and disruption of constructing a
tunnel and ongoing maintenance and operational costs meant it was never going to
be a viable solution. A bypass will provide similar long term benefits to a
tunnel; an almost junction free link between the Port and motorway network; at a
significantly lower cost with less construction disruption and a much shorter
delivery time when pressure on the existing road is increasing all the time. We
want to continue talking to the Council and local people to ensure we deliver an
A5036 Port of Liverpool route which can support the local and regional economy."
Explaining why a tunnel was never put forward
as an option at the consultation, Tim Gamon, Highways England's regional
delivery director for the North West, said a bypass would deliver the same
economic benefits as a tunnel, but while a tunnel would cost more than ₤1.5
billion the cost of a bypass was around ₤250 million.
Mr Gamon said:- "The tunnel simply does not provide value for money.
Furthermore, the impact of delivering a tunnel through the park would mean the
whole of the Rimrose Valley would potentially be 'out of bounds' for
recreational use; including the sports pitches; for up to 6 years due to the
scale of the construction and safety zones required."
Highways England is working on ideas to help mitigate the impact of a new bypass
on the country park, park users and people living nearby, with a package of
mitigation and environmental improvement measures including:- landscaping,
planted screening, noise barriers and improved leisure facilities and pedestrian
and cyclist links through the valley.
Delivering a bypass would mean handing back
the existing A5036 to local people to provide a clear separation of local
traffic from commercial and commuter traffic between the port and motorway
network. Highways England will transform the existing A5036; delivering
improved:- cycling facilities, better crossing and footpaths, improved
connectivity on the Inter City routes crossing the road to benefit local
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