Herefordshire Council has resuscitated its previous failed bids for a Hereford Bypass.
As Vicki Wegg-Prosser from Here for Hereford explains in this guest blog, the Council is avoiding references to its own Relief Road studies which have, by and large, confirmed that proposed outer distributor roads do not provide Hereford with 'Relief' from congestion.
Herefordshire Council has resuscitated its previous failed bids for a Hereford Bypass. The Council is avoiding references to its own Relief Road studies which have, by and large, confirmed that proposed outer distributor roads do not provide Hereford with 'Relief' from congestion.
In 2015 the Planning Inspector doubted the deliverability of the Relief Road, and the Highways Agency reminded the Council that the Secretary of State had no intention of becoming the Highway Authority for the Relief Road.
Despite this, the Council claims that the 'Bypass' could become part of an M5/M6 alternative in a desperate bid to try and make the case for the road to be classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). This is pie in the sky. NSIPs, as the name says on the tin, have to be nationally significant in their own right. A bypass of a small cathedral city does not meet the standard, especially one that is scheduled to go through housing estates.
The scheme is out for consultation until 22 May 2017, and is wrapped up as part of a Hereford Transport Package which has echoes of the South Wye Transport Package and its Southern Link Road (planning permission granted in June 2016).
The Council is struggling to get completion funding from the Local Growth Fund for the Southern Link Road and accompanying active travel measures. Despite this it is throwing more tax-payers money pursuing another new road when it can’t even get the first one built.
The question is why does the council not prioritise its sustainable travel modes over road building, when these measures are affordable and shown to work? The Destination Hereford programme (2011 to 2015) has yielded an increase in the proportion of cycling and walking trips, and a reduction in the proportion of car trips. Lack of money is no excuse: the programme has received Phase 2 funding for 2016 to 2017.
Have your say in the consultation by 22 May: more information is available on the Here for Hereford website.
If you are facing a damaging or wasteful road building scheme, our free campaign guide is designed to help.