There has been a steady stream of letters condemning Herefordshire Council for the outcome of its transport review and its recommendation to drop plans for the western bypass.

I would like to strongly back the coalition of Green, IOC and independent councillors for their transport policies.

For years the bypass has been the unimaginative and environmentally disastrous solution demanded when some people find themselves frustrated by having to sit in a traffic jam in Hereford.

Forget that the bypass route would desecrate some of the loveliest countryside in the Wye Valley, that it would cause an overall increase of traffic congestion in the long term by ushering in new housing estates on the city perimeter, with thousands of new households with multiple car ownership increasing the traffic in and out of Hereford.

Above all, forget that we are in an actual climate emergency requiring a drastic immediate reduction of private car transport and the huge carbon cost of new road-building.

If we forget all this a bypass might seem like the answer.

How much more intelligent and creative are the coalition’s proposals to consider the less environmentally destructive but popular eastern river crossing idea and concerted measures to make Herefordshire a beacon for healthy and people-friendly modes of getting about such as electric buses, safe walking and cycling routes.

The gains will be clear: lower carbon emissions to address climate change, quiet and low-pollution city and town centres, greater individual health as people exercise more, and decreasing the rate of traffic accidents.

Surely it is time to move on from the dominance of the car in our communities.

Yes, it’s nice to be able to drive around wherever we want but the overall human and environmental cost has been too high for too long.

Let’s get behind the council in its forward thinking and creative proposals for transport in our county.

Wendy Harvey

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