High hopes for Hereford £60m bypass bid goes to Whitehall

First published in News Hereford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A £60 MILLION bid to build Hereford’s proposed bypass and new river crossing goes to Whitehall this week with a real chance of success.

The West Midlands Regional Assembly gave the project priority status in January and is asking the Government for at least half of the £130 million cost.

Developer contributions from 8,000 new homes scheduled for Hereford by 2026 are expected to cover the rest – and the direction of the route will largely be dictated by where those houses will go.

Herefordshire Council leader Councillor Roger Phillips is feeling bullish about the bid’s chances of success.

“Whitehall will test us on our case, so we now have to be sure our case is as strong as the support,”

said Coun Phillips.

Officially, an outer relief road – or bypass by any other name – has long been on the wish list of successive county administrations as an answer to Hereford’s ever-present traffic troubles.

Whitehall has yet to give any indication of when it will make a decision on the bid, which is considered as part of a regional transport programme to start in about 2013, completing five years later.

In May last year, the Hereford Times revealed funding for the road was close.

Then, Coun Phillips told the full council he wanted a timescale closer to four years than the 40 it took to get the city’s most recent major route – the Rotherwas access road – built.

In putting the river crossing as a priority, Coun Phillips set up a rerun of the east-west Hereford bypass debate of the 1980s and early 1990s.

Initially, Plan A linked the crossing and distributor road with the Rotherwas access road.

But, like the bypass plan of old, this route would have to get round the Lugg Meadows to meet the Worcester road.

Plan B pushed the crossing over the Wye at Breinton and on to the Brecon road, not acknowledged as the best solution, but seen by some as good enough.

The council already accepts that a public inquiry is almost certain.

Comments (3)

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6:35pm Fri 27 Feb 09

aremach says...

"Developer contributions from 8,000 new homes scheduled for Hereford by 2026 are expected to cover the rest – and the direction of the route will largely be dictated by where those houses will go."

Unbelievable. The route won't be decided by whether it's the best one to solve traffic problems but where the houses go. Typical muddle-headed thinking from Herefordshire Council. No strategy, no new ideas, no success criteria, just a simplistic policy guaranteed to create more chaos. But Herefordians are used to that from their council.

All cats have 4 legs. My dog had 4 legs. Therefore my dog is a cat.

We must do something about the traffic. Building a bypass is doing something. Therefore we must build a bypass.

No idea about whether it will work or not. Research shows it probably won't in Hereford as traffic generation is mostly internal.
"Developer contributions from 8,000 new homes scheduled for Hereford by 2026 are expected to cover the rest – and the direction of the route will largely be dictated by where those houses will go." Unbelievable. The route won't be decided by whether it's the best one to solve traffic problems but where the houses go. Typical muddle-headed thinking from Herefordshire Council. No strategy, no new ideas, no success criteria, just a simplistic policy guaranteed to create more chaos. But Herefordians are used to that from their council. All cats have 4 legs. My dog had 4 legs. Therefore my dog is a cat. We must do something about the traffic. Building a bypass is doing something. Therefore we must build a bypass. No idea about whether it will work or not. Research shows it probably won't in Hereford as traffic generation is mostly internal. aremach
  • Score: 0

6:39pm Fri 27 Feb 09

aremach says...

Anyway, I didn't think AWM was legally allowed to fund road building? Also, developer money has to go on infrastructure of direct benefit to those houses. A bypass won't have lots of exits (or it will be even slower!) so how can it directly benefit those houses if they can't get on to it? The case sounds to be on dodgy ground to me, Cllr. Phillips. Wool and eyes are words which come to mind for some reason.
Anyway, I didn't think AWM was legally allowed to fund road building? Also, developer money has to go on infrastructure of direct benefit to those houses. A bypass won't have lots of exits (or it will be even slower!) so how can it directly benefit those houses if they can't get on to it? The case sounds to be on dodgy ground to me, Cllr. Phillips. Wool and eyes are words which come to mind for some reason. aremach
  • Score: 0

8:59am Sat 28 Feb 09

TwoWheelsGood says...

Has the possibility that developers won't be cash cows for some very long time occurred to the single cell thinkers in the Cabinet? That they're posting multi million £ losses? That they'll only build where they'll make a profit? That there are better sites elsewhere? That perhaps £70 million is a bung too far? In the meantime, ratepayers pay millions to consultants and for the inevitable public enquiry, whilst every road in the County continues to crumble.
Has the possibility that developers won't be cash cows for some very long time occurred to the single cell thinkers in the Cabinet? That they're posting multi million £ losses? That they'll only build where they'll make a profit? That there are better sites elsewhere? That perhaps £70 million is a bung too far? In the meantime, ratepayers pay millions to consultants and for the inevitable public enquiry, whilst every road in the County continues to crumble. TwoWheelsGood
  • Score: 0

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