The Welsh are riding to the rescue of Hereford’s beleaguered western bypass project.
In the Commons this week, David Jones, secretary of state for Wales, confirmed that he had raised the case for the bypass with secretary of state for transport Patrick McLoughlin.
Mr Jones was answering a question put by Roger Williams, MP for Brecon and Radnor.
Mr Williams, in turn, was putting the views he shared with Hereford’s would be Lib-Dem MP Lucy Hurds, Herefordshire Council leader Tony Johnson and Kirsty Williams, Welsh Assembly member for Brecon and Radnorshire.
Mr Williams had met with the three to agree on the “desperate need” for a western bypass of Hereford and the overall importance of improved road links between Herefordshire and Wales.
A local Lib Dem survey has shown 89% support for a bypass.
Mr Williams secured from Mr Jones an undertaking of “further discussions” over the bypass between the transport secretary and the Welsh government, having told the Commons that business in Mid-Wales depended on “good access” to the West Midlands to maximise opportunities, and, for those businesses based in Brecon, that meant the A438.
Mr Williams asked Mr Jones to work with the Welsh Assembly, the Department for Transport and local government to ensure the A438 was upgraded, and particularly around Hereford where a bypass was needed to “ avoid the bottleneck”.
Responding, Mr Jones said the “important issue” had been the subject of discussion for some time and had been a subject of correspondence between himself and Mr McLoughlin that very day in falling partly under the Welsh Government and partly under the Department for Transport.
Hereford's western bypass has been held up critics and funding concerns but remains a priority for Herefordshire Council.