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Tuesday, November 30, 2021 4:26 PM

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Southport MP meets with Minister for Transport, Chris Heaton-Harris to discuss road blockage schemes

Today I met with the Minister for Transport, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, to discuss Sefton Council's Cycle Lane and Liveable Neighbourhood schemes.

Along with local residents and businesses, I am resolutely opposed to these projects. They are deeply flawed, and appear to have been developed in haste by those who do not truly understand our town.

The 'temporary' cycle lanes imposed in the town centre are stifling businesses and threaten the existence of Holy Trinity Church - the £1.35 million expansion plans would be a colossal and unacceptable waste. Sefton Council must respect the views expressed in the consultation and scrap the plans now.

The Liveable Neighbourhood plans as presented would lead to increased congestion and increased emergency response times, and cut off community businesses, through traffic, and supply routes. I hope that all residents who live in, or regularly pass through, the impacted area between Cemetery Road and Lord Street will attend today’s public event running until 7pm and will submit their views -

Southport's economy is just getting back on its feet following the pandemic, and our town has a range of exciting projects to look forward to, projects for which the £37.5 million Town Deal I secured has served as a catalyst. Whether it is new stores opening, existing businesses expanding, or the facelift the town centre will soon receive through the Town Deal, it should be the focus of Sefton Council to ensure we can attract visitors and shoppers into the town, not clogging roads and removing parking. We must not pull the rug from under our recovery.

As the Minister has previously made clear, local authorities are not required by the Government to participate in these schemes nor are they obligated to accept funding. He has also today confirmed to me that Sefton Council will not see a reduction in their future general budget if they decide not to go ahead with these schemes, as some opposition parties in Southport have tried to claim.

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