PLANS for a bypass in Hereford have suffered a setback after a bid for funding to progress the scheme was unsuccessful.

Herefordshire Council applied to the Department for Transport for government funding from the Local Majors Fund for its Hereford Transport Package.

The funding bid related to progressing plans for the section of the proposed western Hereford bypass which joins the A49 to the north of the city and with the southern link road to the south.

It would then be joined with the approved Southern Link Road to provide a full north-south bypass of Hereford for the existing A49 trunk road.

However, it has been confirmed that the funding for an outline business case, which would include enable an option assessment report and route option report, has not been released by the government.

Responding to the Hereford Transport Alliance, the Department for Transport said: "As you may be aware the Department decided not to approve funding for the development of the Hereford Transport Package bid.

"This particular funding round was particularly oversubscribed with over 50 bids from local authorities in England from which only 12 were selected to receive development funding.

"Of course Herefordshire Council and the Marches LEP are free to submit the case in future should further funding opportunities arise and one of the criteria we would look, amongst many others, is the overall strength of support, and opposition, from the public and key stakeholders."

In a statement, Herefordshire Council confirmed that the bid had not been successful but clarified that funding for the city's Southern Link Road remains in place as it is part of a separate package.

It said: "The Hereford Transport Package refers to the Hereford Bypass and associated active travel measures. The funding for the Southern Link road remains in place and we are proceeding to the next stage of negotiating land purchase.

"We were unsuccessful with our bid to the Local Majors Fund for the progression of the Hereford Transport Package. However, there will be opportunities to bid for more funding in 2017 and we remain committed to the construction of the Hereford Bypass and the active travel measure the road’s construction will facilitate.”

The Hereford Transport Package is part of the council's Local Transport Plan which was adopted by the council in May 2016.

The plan also includes the South Wye Transport Package – which features the approved Southern Link Road from the A49 Ross Road/Rotherwas Access Road roundabout to the A465 and the B4349 Clehonger Road as well as a package of complementary active travel measures – and Hereford City Centre Transport Package.

The Hereford Transport Package would, the council state, enable growth both in and around Hereford while providing a more reliable and safer route for traffic using the A49 and reducing operational and environmental costs to the road network.