THE news last week that the city bypass project would be put on hold certainly should have come as no surprise.

Many of those voted on to the council in May’s elections had made their opposition to the western road clear – as has this newspaper.

The reasons are plentiful but centre on the fact that this is the wrong side to go around Hereford.
All the major motorways and industry lie to the east and the route over the Wye, the A438 and the A4103 will need so many new junctions that traffic jams will inevitably move to the suburbs.

The thousands of houses needed to pay for the road will also add extra traffic to the already busy Whitecross Road while the sheer distance in travelling from Rotherwas, for example, all the way around the western edges will mean many drivers will just take their chances on going through the city centre.

The contrary argument others seem to be making is that a bad bypass is better than no bypass at all.

They talk as if the western bypass is a done deal – but this is not the case at all.

For it is not as though the new council has stopped the diggers laying the last few yards of tarmac.

The reality is that no exact route has even been drawn up and there is no planning application – nevermind planning permission in place – for the crucial river crossing part of the scheme.

So we applaud the council for taking this decision and hope they now focus their attention on a river crossing near Rotherwas which is a much more realistic and pragmatic project.