COUNCIL chiefs have given the go-ahead to progress the proposed Hereford bypass scheme to its next stage.

Economy and place acting director Richard Ball decided on June 4 to commission a works programme for detailed design and consultation, including an assessment of options, for the Hereford Transport Package for 2019/20.

This work will be commissioned through the council’s public realm contract with an initial value of up to £1.7m.

Mr Ball, as economy and place director, was authorised to take all necessary steps to progress a detailed design and consultation for the scheme on March 11 by the previous infrastructure cabinet member Philip Price.

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That decision gave him the authority to commission external professional advisers to a maximum further cost of £3.65m to deliver completion of a detailed design of the western bypass to a standard for a planning application.

Current infrastructure cabinet member John Harrington would not comment on the new administration’s vision for the scheme.

He said he would not be telling the press or anyone else what their plans are until they sit down and have a look at the full facts.

According to the officer decision record, Mr Ball has consulted with the council’s head of infrastructure delivery, commercial and contracts manager and Balfour Beatty Living Places.

It says the reason for the decision is that the Hereford Transport Package proposal and costs were deemed acceptable when assessed for value for money by the council’s infrastructure delivery chief and public realm contract management teams.

The total spend for April, May and June is forecast to be £400,000.

The commission can be varied if priorities change and additional or alternative options would be explored.