Liz Morawiecka and John Whitelegg have taken issue with my myth-busting letter about local road projects. Unfortunately, both appear to have misread it, in different ways.

Regarding the £10 million, before writing my letter I was careful to consult with DfT officials about the numbers. Their advice was that there was up to £24.855 million available for the road after deduction of DfT-provided development costs.

It is not clear what the exact sum remaining after any other (incurred or planned) items would be. My phrase “perhaps £10 million” in relation to a possible refund to (or moneys retained by) the LEP was intended to flag uncertainty about the actual amount which would be foregone, while making clear that it might well be very substantial.

Indeed, it might possibly be larger than £10 million - after all, roads are expensive things.

Nor, contrary to Liz, did I say that growth fund money cannot be spent on similar projects in Herefordshire. What I said was “There is no guarantee at present that the LEP will be willing or able to redeploy this money within the county.” Nor is there.

John is also, unfortunately, well wide of the mark. I did not claim that “new roads solve congestion problems”. On the contrary, my letter specifically pointed to the likelihood of more traffic to the east of the city. But it also pointed to the environmental and social gains of detrunking the A49 in the city, especially with more investment in cycling and walking. Everyone ought to welcome that possibility.

My letter was intended to be a fair-minded assessment of a complex situation. But its main point was and remains a simple one. If the Council decides not to proceed with long planned local infrastructure projects worth £150-£200 million, this is a huge strategic decision, whose effects will last for decades.

Whatever their views may be, all Herefordians - councillors, businesses, local people - need to be fully aware of what is at stake.

Jesse Norman

MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire