The leader of Sefton Council has called for a judicial review into the decision by Highways England to build a £200m dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley.
Cllr Ian Maher said the council had put forward the option of building a tunnel rather than upgrading the A5036 or building the new road but this was ‘disregarded’ by Highways England in its consultation process.
Cllr Maher said: ‘We know that our communities have felt absolutely devastated since the announcement in August by Highways England that their preferred option is to build a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley.
‘The way the whole process has been handled beggars believe and the more I have thought about it, the more I believe that we have grounds to challenge and are calling for a judicial review on the matter.’
He is calling on Highways England to withdraw its decision and re-open the consultation process.
A spokesman for Highways England said: 'The options for the vital improvement to the Port of Liverpool route were developed in accordance with long-standing procedures including cost benefit assessments which we are obliged by government rules to consider. Due to the high cost, a tunnel was ruled out as a serious option at a very early stage but we believe the bypass option will deliver real benefits to local people – including along what will become the old A5036 – as well as to the local and regional economy with faster, more reliable journeys between the port and motorway network along the new road.
Highways England remains committed to a dialogue with local people about the future of the route and, of course, there will a statutory process to complete before the bypass can be constructed.'