It is great news that the new Herefordshire Council are doing what they were elected to do and have paused to review the proposed Southern Link Road and western “bypass”.

The aims for these schemes include: to reduce congestion and delay; to reduce growth in emissions; to reduce traffic noise; to reduce accidents; to encourage physical activity. But these aims do not actually need new roads to deliver them.

As seen in many European towns, such aims can be accomplished more quickly and cheaply with better, cheaper public transport networks, and better provision for cycling and walking. Few would now dispute the Climate Emergency, so we have to try and stall warming, especially by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Transport is responsible for 26% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, so we cannot ignore the consequences and carry on building new roads, that induce more traffic. Nor can we continue building car-dependent housing estates

We would also be foolish to build on top-grade soils that are vital for food production, to build on floodplains where flood risk may increase, or countenance removing established woodland that absorbs CO2.

I hope the review of road schemes will be broad enough to recognise that the protection of our natural environment to sustain us is likely to be much more important to long term prosperity than out-dated infrastructure.

Dr Nichola Geeson, Hereford