HEREFORDSHIRE Council chiefs have decided to pause all work on the proposed Hereford bypass and southern link road.

The decision by infrastructure and transport cabinet member John Harrington will lead to a review of both projects to decide their future.

Acting director for economy and place Richard Ball has been authorised to take all operational decisions to scope the review work for both road schemes.

This work would be done within a budget of £70,000 for the Hereford bypass and £50,000 for the southern link road and would inform a further decision later this year.

Meanwhile work on the South Wye Transport Package and Hereford bypass active travel measures will be continued.

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“Following a change of administration and with time to reflect, it has now been decided to pause all work on the Hereford bypass and southern link road to allow further time to review these schemes in more detail and look at other options,” councillor Harrington said.

“There are many complex issues that need to be considered and it is very important to examine these thoroughly.

“The views of residents, commuters and local businesses are very important to us. It is vital that travel, transport and infrastructure developments in Hereford support the economy, help to improve health and wellbeing and make Herefordshire a better place to live, work and visit.

“We also need to ensure we effectively respond to the climate emergency declared by Herefordshire Council and the Government.

“As part of this review it is important to consider alternative options.

"For example this will include infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians (including safe routes to school), an eastern river crossing and trialling the removal of some traffic signals. It could also include options for an electric bus service, improving school bus services and an ultra-light rail system.

“All options need to be considered as we look to the long term and towards providing a high quality, integrated and low carbon transport system for the whole of Herefordshire, not just for the immediate future but for generations to come.”

Coun Harrington had also considered stopping all work completely on both road schemes and continuing the delivery of both projects.

The council says a total of six options have been carefully considered together with the views of local councillors.

“Given the importance of the next steps to the current schemes which were developed under previous administrations, it is appropriate to pause and review to ensure that the right decisions are made for the future of Herefordshire,” the decision notice reads.