The courts have granted Sefton’s application for Judicial Review into the Highways England consultation over Rimrose Valley.
Leader of Sefton Council, Cllr Ian Maher, said: “I’m pleased that the court has granted us permission to proceed with our application for a Judicial Review to look into what we believe is a flawed consultation by Highways England when they decided that their preferred option was to build a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley.
“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.
“Getting to this next stage means that the legal system clearly recognises that we have grounds to challenge the way the whole process has been handled.
“Their failure to include the tunnel as an option in the consultation process has deprived our residents of the opportunity to express a view – which is why we want to take action.
“Our case has been deemed to have enough evidence to take legal action and we’ll now prepare a strong case for the Judicial Review.
“We will fight this to ensure 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.
“Of course it is not too late for Highways England to reconsider their position, start their consultation process again including the tunnel option and avoid the need for ongoing legal action.
“We hope that common sense prevails.”