THE Old Bridge should be reopened and Hereford needs a bypass.

Those are the views of Herefordshire’s newest county councillor Ann-Marie Probert, who won her Newton Farm seat in the May 6 by-election.

The 50-year-old, who grew up in Tupsley, moved south of the river when she met her husband Chris, who was born and raised in Newton Farm, in 1999.

Councillor Probert, a mother-of-two, is the first to admit she is “not a very political creature.” The former Girl Guides leader worked at Tesco before opening cafe City Snax in Eign Gate at the age of 30. She now runs CJP Ducting with her husband, and volunteers at the St Michael’s Hospice shop near her Holme Lacy Road home.

“I like to say I’m more of a practical and hands-on person than a politician, and I didn’t really vote until I was 40,” she said.

But she was spurred into action after the Hereford bypass project was axed.

“I didn’t understand why the bypass was cancelled after the years of work and money that had gone into it,” said Coun Probert, who decided to run as a Conservative partly due to her views on the bypass.

“The people of Herefordshire want a bypass. Anyone who says we don’t obviously doesn’t drive or have to sit in the traffic on Ross and Belmont roads.

“I understand we have to try to walk and cycle more, but 30 per cent of people who live in Herefordshire are retired and depend on their cars. As a business in Hereford, I know we need to use our vans – we can’t take ducting on a bike.”

She said she believes another river crossing is desperately needed to take through-traffic out of the city, and that the Old Bridge, closed to motorists in 2020, should be reopened.


“The Old Bridge closure needs to change soon, along with the social distancing flower pots in King Street,” Coun Probert said.

“Let’s get trade back into King and Bridge streets before the shops are empty.”

But despite basing her campaign around the bypass, she is also very keen to tackle other issues in the city, including the supply of affordable housing.

A number of parish councillors were also elected on May 6, with vacant seats on seven parish councils.

Six new councillors were elected to Walford Parish Council, while new councillors will also be

taking up their positions

in Brockhampton with Much Fawley (uncontested), Dilwyn, Eaton Bishop (uncontested), Bobblestock, Newton Farm, and Ross East.