HEREFORDSHIRE Council may have to repay £3.8m it has already spent on the southern link road project if it decides to axe it.

Infrastructure and highways cabinet member John Harrington decided in August to pause and review both the Hereford bypass and southern link road schemes.

But the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, which decides regional funding priorities, has warned it would seek to recoup funds claimed against the South Wye Transport Package should the council decide not to proceed with it.

The transport package includes the proposed road which would link the A49 Ross road with the A465 Abergavenny road and is seen as the first stage of the city bypass.

The council has been given a deadline October 31 to tell the LEP and Department for Transport about their position regarding the pause and review.

Conservative councillor Nigel Shaw said it took a “huge effort” to achieve funding for project and that it would be “very regrettable” to lose it which could impact on job creation in Rotherwas.

Fellow Conservative and former council leader Roger Phillips called on the Herefordshire Independents, It’s Our County and Green coalition to reveal the financial implications of stopping the road schemes.

“The new administration must be open and honest with the people of Herefordshire on what the full true costs of cancelling the transport projects are,” he said.

Liberal Democrat group leader Terry James said repaying the money would hurt the county’s most vulnerable.

“They would have to take the money from revenue reserves which would hurt the council services it provides to older people and the vulnerable.

“To not go ahead with the road would be like washing £3.8m down the drain.”

The LEP will also hold an emergency board meeting before the end of the month to review the outcome of discussions held with DfT.

Herefordshire Council was approached for comment.