Link road inquiry latest: Deals reached with Royal Mail and Jewson

The area affected by the plans.

The area affected by the plans.

First published in News
Last updated

TWO long-running rows over Hereford’s link road project have been resolved this week.

Royal Mail delivered just what Herefordshire Council wanted yesterday to reach an agreement over the road and its impact on car parking at Hereford’s Station Approach sorting office.

Confirmation of the deal was put to the ongoing public inquiry into the road today ahead of Royal Mail’s objections being heard as evidence.

At the time of going to press, the council confirmed a similar deal with builders' merchant Jewsons over the chain’s site off Canal Road. Jewsons was also listed as a long-time objector to the road.

But the inquiry heard plans for a new Hereford police station on the road’s route between Commercial Road and Edgar Street slammed as an “an absolute pipe dream”.

Timothy Jones, for the council, said any new station on the Essex Arms fields – right in the path of the road – were as unrealistic as they were unaffordable.

“The plan for a new HQ is an absolute pipe dream, there is no finance for it and the whole trend now is for police to economise and amalgamate. The land will continue to be underused and detract from the development around it,” he said.

West Mercia Police currently uses the fields for training dogs but the site has long been seen as a future base for a much-needed new police HQ for the county.

In order to build the link road – initially scheduled to alleviate congestion near the Old Market shopping centre – developers would only need a small part of the Essex Arms site.

The council, however, wants the whole site, without which it cannot progress its plans for an 800 home urban village on and around Merton Meadow.

Council planning officer David Nicholson told the inquiry of doubt within the authority as to whether the police plan would ever realistically come forward anyway.

A key element of the council’s agreements with Royal Mail and Jewsons is the allocation of land from the store's site for new sorting office parking.

Earlier this week the inquiry – one of biggest ever held in the county – was told that a number of alternative routes for the road had been ruled out as “not suitable” despite the number of objections to the 130 compulsory purchase orders the council wanted for the favoured option.

The inquiry which began last Wednesday – has already heard from objectors pitching different routes.

However, Chris Oakley, Herefordshire Council’s transport manager, told the inquiry, which began last Wednesday, that while other routes had been considered, the route selected was the “optimal solution”.

Schemes along the inner ring road itself, along the line of Blackfriars Street and Coningsby Street and along the line of Barrs Court Road were, the inquiry heard, all considered during the master-planning process as were different scales of road within the present corridor for the scheme.

The inquiry continues.

Comments (12)

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4:50pm Wed 30 Apr 14

mizza21 says...

cor blimey. looks like Ron Smiths is toast. Possibly also to be swept aside is Hi-Q and Hereford Glass. I wouldn't make any plans if I was Arrow Tool hire or CRW carpets either.

Well.. tis a small price to pay for what will be a traffic revolution in Hereford. This is the panacea that will resolve all of the congestion and in my view is money well spent.
Lots of extra traffic emerging onto Edgar Street and presumably more lights will cause no problems at all I wouldn't have thought.
cor blimey. looks like Ron Smiths is toast. Possibly also to be swept aside is Hi-Q and Hereford Glass. I wouldn't make any plans if I was Arrow Tool hire or CRW carpets either. Well.. tis a small price to pay for what will be a traffic revolution in Hereford. This is the panacea that will resolve all of the congestion and in my view is money well spent. Lots of extra traffic emerging onto Edgar Street and presumably more lights will cause no problems at all I wouldn't have thought. mizza21
  • Score: 3

5:22pm Wed 30 Apr 14

saidflo says...

Why bother with an inquiry?
Be honest.
The scheme is so good it should just go through on the nod.
Pay the scroungers off, the ones who object, with sweeteners. That's the only reason they are objecting - right? For what they can get out of the deal.
The congestion will disappear once the link road is laid and the new shopping mall related extra traffic will have no effect on congestion at all.
Wonderful!
Why bother with an inquiry? Be honest. The scheme is so good it should just go through on the nod. Pay the scroungers off, the ones who object, with sweeteners. That's the only reason they are objecting - right? For what they can get out of the deal. The congestion will disappear once the link road is laid and the new shopping mall related extra traffic will have no effect on congestion at all. Wonderful! saidflo
  • Score: 5

5:34pm Wed 30 Apr 14

fordshire77 says...

Can anyone put this into how many MI££IONS of pounds this is going to cost the local tax payer??
Can anyone put this into how many MI££IONS of pounds this is going to cost the local tax payer?? fordshire77
  • Score: 7

8:03pm Wed 30 Apr 14

xantiaman says...

Herefordshire Council want the Jewson Lot !!!!
Herefordshire Council want the Jewson Lot !!!! xantiaman
  • Score: 6

8:50pm Wed 30 Apr 14

Cambo 1 says...

Correct me if I'm wrong but don't the police own the essex arms site anyway?
Correct me if I'm wrong but don't the police own the essex arms site anyway? Cambo 1
  • Score: 3

9:40am Thu 1 May 14

mizza21 says...

yay saidflo. Pay off the scroungers? Yeah why not we can afford it. Put up the council tax and the parking charges to accommodate what is an essential expense for the future of Herefordshire.
The congestion will disappear once the link road is laid? Of course it will. All of the traffic surveys commissioned by the council and the Highways Agency clearly show this.
yay saidflo. Pay off the scroungers? Yeah why not we can afford it. Put up the council tax and the parking charges to accommodate what is an essential expense for the future of Herefordshire. The congestion will disappear once the link road is laid? Of course it will. All of the traffic surveys commissioned by the council and the Highways Agency clearly show this. mizza21
  • Score: 7

8:32pm Thu 1 May 14

William Rudd says...

mizza21 wrote:
yay saidflo. Pay off the scroungers? Yeah why not we can afford it. Put up the council tax and the parking charges to accommodate what is an essential expense for the future of Herefordshire.
The congestion will disappear once the link road is laid? Of course it will. All of the traffic surveys commissioned by the council and the Highways Agency clearly show this.
The highways agency say that traffic has dramatically decreased and that we don't need a by pass or any road.Just like our Council run by a bunch of muppets
[quote][p][bold]mizza21[/bold] wrote: yay saidflo. Pay off the scroungers? Yeah why not we can afford it. Put up the council tax and the parking charges to accommodate what is an essential expense for the future of Herefordshire. The congestion will disappear once the link road is laid? Of course it will. All of the traffic surveys commissioned by the council and the Highways Agency clearly show this.[/p][/quote]The highways agency say that traffic has dramatically decreased and that we don't need a by pass or any road.Just like our Council run by a bunch of muppets William Rudd
  • Score: 7

11:10pm Thu 1 May 14

jd1950 says...

How the hell will 800 more houses not add to the constant clog up of our roads, go on tell me , everyone who thinks that 800 more houses that could have two or more cars per house is living in a dream world, if they think that a stupid link road from the railway station to another of our wonderful road blocks, Edgar Street, will make any difference at all to the congestion we have to put up with on a daily basis.is living in a dream world, hold on and I will call in the white coats, I must be the only person south of the Wye who can see this.
How the hell will 800 more houses not add to the constant clog up of our roads, go on tell me , everyone who thinks that 800 more houses that could have two or more cars per house is living in a dream world, if they think that a stupid link road from the railway station to another of our wonderful road blocks, Edgar Street, will make any difference at all to the congestion we have to put up with on a daily basis.is living in a dream world, hold on and I will call in the white coats, I must be the only person south of the Wye who can see this. jd1950
  • Score: 8

11:28pm Thu 1 May 14

CJM1957 says...

This will be the second useless, unnecessary link road to be built in Hereford, only this one will also destroy a number of local businesses in its wake.
This will be the second useless, unnecessary link road to be built in Hereford, only this one will also destroy a number of local businesses in its wake. CJM1957
  • Score: 5

7:16am Sat 3 May 14

Grid Knocker says...

Mr Oakley also assured the Inquiry Inspector that a Transport Interchange adjacent to Hereford Station might be 'deliverable at some time in the future'. The problem is that Mr Oakley and the dozens of worker ants who inhabit Plough Lane's Lubyanka seem to live in a 'future world'.

Eight years ago, ESG Ltd made gave a public presentation of the Link Road at the TSG Bowl on Station Approach. It was chaired by Ted Wilmott, who later became Chairman of Hereford Futures.

One of the pivotal items in this pr-spun 'presentation' was the desireability of creating a transpot hub on the Link Road, where all modes transport interchange would be accomodated: cycle, car, taxi, car hire, bus and train.

And what precisely has been achieved in the 8 intervening years, in terms of a) cutting-edge interchange research? b) top-class design? c) or applications for funding from regional transport bodies? Nothing.
Mr Oakley also assured the Inquiry Inspector that a Transport Interchange adjacent to Hereford Station might be 'deliverable at some time in the future'. The problem is that Mr Oakley and the dozens of worker ants who inhabit Plough Lane's Lubyanka seem to live in a 'future world'. Eight years ago, ESG Ltd made gave a public presentation of the Link Road at the TSG Bowl on Station Approach. It was chaired by Ted Wilmott, who later became Chairman of Hereford Futures. One of the pivotal items in this pr-spun 'presentation' was the desireability of creating a transpot hub on the Link Road, where all modes transport interchange would be accomodated: cycle, car, taxi, car hire, bus and train. And what precisely has been achieved in the 8 intervening years, in terms of a) cutting-edge interchange research? b) top-class design? c) or applications for funding from regional transport bodies? Nothing. Grid Knocker
  • Score: 5

7:31am Sat 3 May 14

Grid Knocker says...

...and while I'm on my feet...

heartiest congrats to Bill Tanner for tirelessly following this grubby story, which has been going on behind doors for at least 5 years. Perhaps next week he'd likely to reveal what the true NEW cost of the Link Road to Nowhere is going to be?

Before the Wolverson family's business was decimated (at an alleged cost of £8M), the road's cost was always spoken of - in the Days of Jarvis - as being £27M. So that makes £35M. Now HC has had to pay Royal Mail and Jewsons undisclosed sums (let's say Wolverson x 2). That makes £51M. And the Link Road is only going to be all of 800 metres long. So that works out at more than £63K per metre. For a road which will have a single carriageway in each direction; no dedicated cycle paths; and five sets of traffic lights!
...and while I'm on my feet... heartiest congrats to Bill Tanner for tirelessly following this grubby story, which has been going on behind doors for at least 5 years. Perhaps next week he'd likely to reveal what the true NEW cost of the Link Road to Nowhere is going to be? Before the Wolverson family's business was decimated (at an alleged cost of £8M), the road's cost was always spoken of - in the Days of Jarvis - as being £27M. So that makes £35M. Now HC has had to pay Royal Mail and Jewsons undisclosed sums (let's say Wolverson x 2). That makes £51M. And the Link Road is only going to be all of 800 metres long. So that works out at more than £63K per metre. For a road which will have a single carriageway in each direction; no dedicated cycle paths; and five sets of traffic lights! Grid Knocker
  • Score: 6

4:22pm Sun 4 May 14

TwoWheelsGood says...

'A mile of new motorway costs on average £30m' according to the Highways Agency - and that’s for 6 lanes. We're getting just half a mile of two lanes at a pro-rata cost of upwards of £100m! Where is the money going? Is something awry?
'A mile of new motorway costs on average £30m' according to the Highways Agency - and that’s for 6 lanes. We're getting just half a mile of two lanes at a pro-rata cost of upwards of £100m! Where is the money going? Is something awry? TwoWheelsGood
  • Score: 2

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