3 November: Another expensive development-focused bypass is facing a public consultation – this time in Hereford, where the county council is trying to include a £100 million ‘relief road’ in its development plans.
Local groups Here For Hereford, Cycle Hereford and Herefordshire Friends of the Earth are campaigning against the plans and are calling on Herefordshire residents to respond to the council’s Local Development Framework (LDF) consultation by calling for cheaper, more sustainable, alternative plans to be considered.
In September, the groups commissioned consultants to examine the plans, and to check what alternatives the proposed road had been tested against.
Their report found that the council has not complied with requirements for it to test alternatives, and is potentially risking tens of millions of pounds of local taxpayers money if it does not look seriously at other ideas.
Campaigners want a package of sustainable measures, including help for walking, cycling and public transport, to replace the ‘Hereford Relief Road’ in the plans because these measures would tackle congestion more effectively than the road while still allowing for the housing growth proposed in the LDF.
The consultant’s report predicts that congestion would stabilise or fall "even taking into account population growth and new development" if the right combination of policies for walking, cycling and public transport were pursued.
Liz Morawiecka of Here for Hereford says: "Here for Hereford want the best solutions for tacking congestion in Hereford, and tackling it NOW. We feel that all of Herefordshire will pay too high a price for the continuing mistakes of Herefordshire Council."
Find out more about the report and why the ‘Relief Road’ would be a colossal waste of money on the Here for Hereford campaign website here: http://www.hereforhereford.co.uk/
If you live in Herefordshire, you can find out more and respond to the consultation here:
Or you can find leaflets and information in local county Info Centres and libraries.
The consultation runs until November 28 and the council will be seeking final approval for the plans in spring 2012.