Ashley Elliot warns that young people and shoppers could desert Hereford because of traffic problems (From Hereford Times)
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Ashley Elliot warns that young people and shoppers could desert Hereford because of traffic problems
10:53am Thursday 12th July 2012 in Letters
HEREFORD has needed to relieve traffic congestion for years. This has been exacerbated by a massive house building programme, mainly south of the river.
With all roads converging on one road bridge, congestion and deteriorating air quality has been inevitable. The original relief road was abandoned through a lack of funding with only the Rotherwas relief road being completed.
The Local Development Framework produced by Amey for the council in 2010 proposes to fund a relief road and western river crossing by building housing estates and using the Community Infrastructure Levy on each house to help pay for it.
Rotherwas industrial estate has won Enterprise Zone status and, supported by MP Jesse Norman, is crying out for an eastern river crossing as soon as possible to safeguard jobs and new businesses.
Hereford Civic Society criticises the LDF for being over complicated, unrealistic in its projections and funding details.
It also criticises the council for not allowing houses to be built in communities where they are needed.
With concerns over the water supply and the sewage treatment plant struggling to cope, the council’s admission that a 30 per cent increase in housing would negate any positive effects of road building is an alarming admission.
Residents on the southern link were alarmed at the abandonment of the original route in favour of two new proposals. An unpleasant row among parishoners then broke out when the council agreed to include the old route for consideration.
This mix-up can be explained if you unearth the 2008 Vision For Hereford produced by Bloor Homes and Church Commissioners in consultation with the council. The later Amey plan for the LDF is virtually identical.
I wonder if it is desirable or ethical for a housing company to have such a strong influence on road building?
The council must decide if it wants to support employment, growth and a better future for Hereford or watch impotently as a gridlocked Hereford city is deserted by shoppers and young people are forced to move away.
ASHLEY ELLIOTT, Haywood Lodge Cottages, Haywood, Herefordshire
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