HEREFORD’S bypass has hit a major stumbling block after the man many expect to be the constituency MP for the area where the road would run said he does not support the chosen route.

The proposal from Herefordshire Council would see the relief road travel through the North Herefordshire constituency previously held by Bill Wiggin.

Mr Wiggin is standing for re-election in next month’s General Election and told a public meeting in Breinton on Saturday that he has “never supported the western route and has not changed his position”.

The planned road would also cross Kings Acre and the Hereford and South Herefordshire seat previously held by Mr Wiggin’s Conservative colleague Jesse Norman.

Mr Norman, who like Mr Wiggin is backed by the pollsters to retain his seat, has previously spoken of his preference for an Eastern Link Road.

He claimed a bridge near Rotherwas would be the most ‘cost-effective’ single piece of road infrastructure, potentially available to ease congestion.

However, their views contrast with the Conservative administration at Herefordshire Council who claim that a western bypass is the only option.

The Breinton Parish Council meeting also raised further queries over the proposed road that would link an area close to Belmont Golf Club with Roman Road near Stretton Sugwas.

In a statement, organisers of Saturday’s event said: “Herefordshire Council claim that the proposed road will cost £132 million but this was calculated at 2010 prices.

“A bridge from Belmont to Breinton needs to span the entire River Wye Special Area of Conservation and the SSSI, and at one of the highest points on the Wye west of Hereford.

“For these reasons, the bridge construction alone could cost in excess of £130million, before building the rest of the road.”

Herefordshire Council applied to the Department for Transport for government funding for its Hereford Transport Package.

However, it was confirmed earlier this year that the funding for an outline business case had not been released by the government.

In a statement, Herefordshire Council said: “The council’s estimated cost for the bypass scheme is based on 2010 industry prices as a base cost, but also includes appropriate allowance for inflation from that date and an appropriate allowance for risk.

“This includes an appropriate estimate for the River Wye bridge structure. The cost estimate for the scheme will be regularly updated as the detail of the scheme is developed, including the location and design of the River Wye structure.

“We are currently consulting on the route corridor and the views expressed by Breinton Parish Council will be considered in the context of the consultation.

“We will consult on route options later this year and once a route is established we can determine where a river crossing will be built and estimated costs will be allocated to each route option.”

The funding for the route, once the project reaches the planning stages will be part of the ongoing discussions with Highways England and the Department for Transport, the spokesman added.

“The council is committed to providing the necessary infrastructure to grow Herefordshire’s economy and the western bypass needs to happen,” the council statement said.