THERE is more support for building a bypass and another river crossing in Hereford than for alternative schemes, a cabinet member has said.

Councillor Philip Price, cabinet member for infrastructure, made the statement in response to a question from a member of the public at last week's cabinet meeting.

He was asked why Herefordshire Council had not properly considered multiple 'imaginative and creative options' for getting people out of cars, considering 85 per cent of journeys in Hereford were less than three miles.

The question came from Ms K Seekings who added that some of those options could include electric light railway, electric buses, park and ride and proper cycle pathways.

"All you propose is to destroy one of the best parts of Hereford – green spaces providing clean air," she said.

"All that will result is an increase in traffic both in Hereford and in the county. Why have you not already looked at other options and implemented them?"

But Cllr Price said he took a 'completely different view', adding that Hereford had one river crossing to deal with all traffic and that he was constantly asked when a bypass would be built.

He said: "That comes at a much higher priority than the suggestions you are putting forward. However, we will be looking at the environmental and the other alternative actions as part of the active travel plans to try to make the scheme in Hereford and the neighbouring area a better place to live but we will be going ahead with a bypass, we will be building a bridge across the river because it is far more supported than the likes of your suggestions.

"I’m sorry to have to say it but I am very supportive of building the bypass and making sure we have infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing economy."

The comments came ahead of a discussion on the next steps of delivery of the South Wye Transport Package (SWTP) Active Travel Measures (ATM).

Members heard there was wide support for the delivery of the package to complement the Southern Link Road, which already has planning permission.

They approved a recommendation to authorise the assistant director for environment and place to take all operational decisions necessary to progress further analysis and detailed design – to a maximum

value of £500,000 – to confirm a preferred package of active travel measures.

A programme for delivery of the preferred package of active travel measures and a procurement strategy for their delivery will also be developed for approval by the cabinet member for infrastructure.