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Bill Esterson MP makes case again for rail not road through Rimrose Valley





Bill Esterson, MP for Sefton Central, told MPs that the increase in the trade of goods at the Port of Liverpool meant the government should reconsider its plan for a road through Rimrose Valley and invest in rail freight.

Mr Esterson was speaking in a debate on the Future of Rail.

He said, "The trade of goods has increased dramatically at the Port of Liverpool. This means more lorries in an area with some of the worst air quality in the country. The government's answer is to build a road through a country park and to destroy a green lung in an urban area. The government should be investing in rail freight and other alternatives to road, plans for which have been developed for Sefton Council. It must make sense to invest in a sustainable freight system and building new rail freight not more roads which will only add to roadside emissions and increase health problems."

Mr Esterson added after the meeting, "I was pleased that we had a debate on the future of rail, called by my Labour colleague, Rachael Maskell. Rachael spoke about the importance of rail freight and I agree with her. The government should be putting freight on rail and on other alternatives to road such as those presented to Sefton Council by Arup. Putting a road through Rimrose Valley will destroy a much valued green space. It will add to poor air quality and increase the damage done to the health of people in South Sefton living near the docks, who already have some of the worst air quality in the country.

“Rail is the sustainable long term answer to port expansion and only the government can make the decision. It beggars belief that this Conservative government has never considered rail or other alternatives to road, such as the Arup proposals to Sefton Council.

“The public don't want the road. It's bad for health, bad for the animal and plant life of Rimrose Valley and it's adding to the problems of global warming. For the umpteenth time, I and my Sefton Labour colleague, Peter Dowd have told the government this. For the umpteenth time, they have ignored our calls for a sustainable investment in the long term benefits of the community, the environment and ultimately the economy. Our roads simply are not coping with the levels of road transport already. It is short term to build roads. Freight has to be moved off the roads onto rail and other alternatives at the Port of Liverpool.”

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