HEREFORDSHIRE Council transport chief John Harrington says he will take a holistic approach to solve the county’s traffic problems.

Councillors last week decided to drop plans for a proposed western bypass and southern link road in Hereford.

Instead, council bosses say they can now focus on creating a masterplan that looks at how transport links up across the whole county.

Infrastructure and transport cabinet member John Harrington says he will focus on plans for a road bridge east of Hereford, and on making improvements to the existing road network.

And a major part of the council’s new approach will also include improvements to the public transport network, along with bids for electric hopper buses.


Cycling will also form part of these new plans and the creation of segregated cycleways is seen as key to making this form of travel more appealing.

“We want a transport masterplan for the city and the county,” Coun Harrington said.

“I’ve never seen a document which shows that we looked at how everything works together in the county.

“We definitely need another river crossing for resilience but we have 7 per cent of traffic that is going through Hereford while the majority is trying to get in or around the city.

“Over 50 per cent of people in the city travel 1.2 miles by car to go to work, take kids to school or go shopping.

“So we need to get people walking and cycling where they can and make it a pleasant experience.

“Hereford could absolutely be a cycling city.”

Hereford Times:

Hereford Times:

He says the council has not invested enough over the last decade in infrastructure to allow people to change the way they travel.

Investment in public transport has also been lacking.

“Because there aren’t sufficient segregated cycle paths people aren’t keen to be using their bicycles.

“Not having shared cycle paths which is something which is not advised by Government.

“We don’t want people walking and cycling on the same path. That’s not acceptable going forward.”


Councillor Harrington says the decision to drop the previous road schemes means they can proceed with new policies for Hereford.

“We can also look at all the other stuff that we haven’t been looking at for a long time.

“We are looking at the bus system and how we can bring back a hopper bus, not just for Hereford city but to the entire county and how best to do that.

“Because legislation was changed in the late 1980s it made it impossible for a local authority to run its own bus service or control it in the way that it used to.

“We would need to look at bus improvements in co-operation with our local providers.

“That’ll be the model we will be concentrating on. How we can form a type of co-operative to make sure we can bid for the money we need to bring these buses in.”

He said the Government is looking at ways of providing more funding to local authorities for public transport.

Council officers will be tasked with assessing what improvements are needed in the county.

And Councillor Harrington hopes that Hereford could become a model town for new government initiatives.


“The very quick work that we would do is get a team together to assess this,” he said.

“The bus solution is something that can be done relatively quickly.

“There is funding from central government and they are looking for a model town.

“We are in a sense responding to what the national government has been asking us to do.

“They have declared a climate emergency and Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps has said he wants the focus of transport to be on public transport and modal shift.”

Coronavirus news:

Despite this change of focus, Councillor Harrington said those who need to use a motor vehicle will not be penalised for doing so.

“If you live far out of Hereford or are disabled you have to use your vehicle and we don’t want to punish you.

“What we do want to do is give people, who can travel in a different way, an opportunity to do so.”

Hereford Times:

  • The Hereford Times has a key role in our community. Please watch the video then subscribe to the website to support all we do: