CONSERVATIVE councillors have called for county residents to have their say on the proposed Hereford bypass in a referendum.

Infrastructure and transport cabinet member John Harrington decided last month to pause all planned work on the scheme and commission a review into the proposed western road which aims to link the A465 Abergavenny road with the A49 north of Holmer.

But Conservative councillors believe residents should have a vote to settle the issue.

Wormside councillor Christy Bolderson asked yesterday's (September 9) general scrutiny committee to recommend a referendum on the proposed western relief road.

She brought up It’s Our County’s (IOC) manifesto pledge to base all their decisions on evidence supported by genuine public engagement.

Councillor Bolderson added that IOC councillor Harrington said he would engage the public more in decision making.

“There was considerable public consultation during the development of the Hereford Transport Package and South Wye Transport Package, however, there has been no formal consultation with the public in relation to pausing the HTP and SWTP.”

She said she was asked to comment on a summary draft report of councillor Harrington’s decision, which was shared in confidence.

“This made it impossible to solicit feedback from parish councils and ward constituents,” she added. “Would the committee not agree that holding a referendum on the bypass, and suspending the decision to pause until the result of that referendum, would be appropriate in light of the administration’s commitment to increased public participation and decision making?”

The committee did not include a referendum in its recommendations to councillor Harrington.