Interest: Road building
Here for Hereford is a non-political watchdog, examining Herefordshire Council plans and documents, and investigating their implications for people living in the County. It reports on this work regularly on its website and on Facebook and Twitter (where it currently has 830 followers). Its active supporters total around 70, all based in Herefordshire, mainly west of the City of Hereford.
January 2018: Hereford Transport Package: Hereford Bypass: Options Phase 2
Herefordshire Council has launched another consultation on their benighted Hereford Bypass scheme, formerly known as the Western Relief Road. This time, they argue that the road must join up the A465 south of the City with the A49 in the north, so that it can become a section of a trunk road alternative to the M5/M6, funded through RIS2. This is pie in the sky. The road's true purpose is to provide access to new housing and employment urban extension sites. These, once occupied, will exacerbate Hereford's congestion problems in the continued absence of any meaningful sustainable transport options. Hereford deserves better than this. New road capacity should be a last resort. The Council's Phase 2 Consultation needlessly prolongs the Council's outdated love affair with tarmac. Tell the Council this love affair is over.
October 2015: STOP PRESS: Objections to the Southern Link Road (which crosses open countryside in South Hereford) can now be lodged up until 5 November. The Council published more evidence about archaeological remains (an Iron Age fort) as did independent historians (a Medieval quarry and a Georgian bathhouse). Natural England, Historic England and the Woodland Trust have joined hundreds of objectors in raising fundamental problems with this road to nowhere.
October 2015: Here for Hereford has produced this leaflet about the problems with the proposed Southern Link Road.
August 2015: Vicki from Here for Hereford has written a blog for the Campaign for Better Transport website all about the Southern Link Road.
June 2015: John Stewart, Campaign for Better Transport, addresses public meeting in Hereford
Organised by the Hereford Transport Forum, this was a well-attended event with a surprise visit from Leader of the Council, Tony Johnson, who insisted that roads had to be built to support the policy of housing growth in the County. Paige Mitchell, from Cycle Hereford, challenged this, saying that while the Council had to support additional good quality housing, there had been no testing of the fully sustainable alternatives to road building, and it was time the Council finally got round to doing this.
John Stewart reminded the meeting that the Hereford 'bypass' as a topic had been around a long time, but it was still not on the list of roads that the Department of Transport wanted to see built. Anthony Powers, Leader of the It's Our County group on the Council, said the costs of the proposed 'bypass' were in the region of £180 million, and Community Infrastructure Levies would be used to help fund this costly scheme, at the expense of doing the small and simple 'right things' that local communities needed.
The main focus of the evening was on the current Planning Application for the Southern Link Road (P 151314 FULL). Cast as the first stage in the Western Relief Road, this would, if built in its entirety, provide a bypass to the west of Hereford, although it was pointed out that there are reasonable routes already that avoid the City, both north/south, and east/west. Many people present wanted to know why there had been so little information in the media about the Southern Link Road and why so little seemed to be being done to oppose it? John Stewart's answer to this was: make a national 'line in the sand' campaign to show that this road makes no sense at all. It will not solve the problems of traffic congestion in Hereford.
Amanda Martin, Hereford Transport Forum, concluded the meeting with an appeal for more people to come forward and work to make Hereford a beacon of good sustainable transport practice – take a look at the city of Maastricht to see how this would really work.
Here for Hereford has also made this two-minute video about the proposed River Wye Crossing Route: