COUNTY councillors have voted to axe the proposed western Hereford bypass and southern link road projects.

Herefordshire Council will instead explore the possibility of a new road linking Rotherwas to the A438 Ledbury Road east of the city.

Cabinet members agreed in December to investigate this option and also improve walking, cycling, bus services and parking measures to reduce traffic in Hereford.

But all councillors had the final say on the Hereford Transport Strategy during a full council meeting today.


Councillors voted to stop the progress of the southern link road which would have connected A49 with the A465 and western bypass schemes and remove them from their capital programme.

Councillors Jim Kenyon and Bob Matthews unsuccesfully proposed an amendment to keep some form of a southern link road.

Infrastructure and transport cabinet member John Harrington said the climate emergency is the most pressing issue affecting the county and said a western road would not ease congestion.

He said an eastern link could take under 10 years to complete but there are things that can be done in the city to reduce traffic congestion.

Coun Harrington said he would get the work done as a matter of urgency.

"We've had 10 or 12 years of planning ot get to a stage where the western route is still a decade away," he said.

"You don't just thave one solution for a quarter of a century you come up with different plans.

"We are all trying to do what we think is right for Herefordshire."

Council leader David Hitchiner said Herefordshire had the opportunity to lead the way and do things differently by cancelling these major road schemes.

Conservative group leader Jonathan Lester said his previous administration was on track to deliver the infrastructure projects that the county really needs.

He said the truth was that the active travel measures were not possible without a bypass.

Work on the proposed western bypass and southern link road in Hereford was paused after the local elections in 2019.

The new coalition administration, made up of Independent, Green and It’s Our County councillors, agreed to pause and review the two major road schemes which had been planned by the Conservative Party.

Councillor Harrington commissioned a review into the Hereford Transport Package and South Wye Transport Package.

And the completed review, which has cost more than £400,000, came up with six different proposals including the western bypass and an eastern crossing.

Other options include schemes which focused on improving walking and cycling networks, buses and controlling traffic demand.

Councillors who scrutinised the report at a meeting earlier last year asked council leaders to abandon the western bypass and reject other major road schemes apart from an eastern river crossing.

A total of 27 councillors voted at full council today to stop the progress of the southern link road and western bypass schemes while 19 voted against and six abstained.