FUNDING for the further development of key transport schemes in Hereford, including a new river crossing to the east of the city, has been agreed by Herefordshire Council.

The cabinet met on Thursday, June 24, to agree £1.24 million to take forward the schemes, which also includes safer routes to school and better walking and cycling networks.

Herefordshire Council said the schemes were identified in the Hereford transport strategy review, to help increase low carbon active travel options and also to provide an alternative to the single river crossing.

The council has also secured government funding to develop proposals for improved bus services across the county.

The Government published its National Bus Strategy in March and has confirmed that it intends to provide more funding for councils to improve bus services in partnership with local operators.

Councillor John Harrington, cabinet member for infrastructure and transport said: “This is very welcome news. This more detailed allocation of the money already agreed by full council allows us to manage our projects more robustly and to move at pace with these priority schemes to help deliver much needed improvements to travel and transport in our city.

“We now have a joined up vision and approach that supports our plans to support economic development, healthier lifestyles and one that will respect and protect our environment.

"We have here all the much needed elements required for a good, 21st century transport system.

"This process started with a complete review of an outdated transport strategy and the development of a new and more holistic one that better aligns with the government’s direction on the climate and ecological emergency and legally binding carbon zero targets.

“The Hereford Transport Strategy incorporates a long term forward view and plan – we can’t do everything at once but we will able to deliver some elements very quickly, including tackling our school run issues and developing an enhanced partnership with our bus operators.

"We can also now pick up the pace with plans for a second river crossing, giving the city that much needed resilience.

"This is an exciting time, a real opportunity to change the way we travel for the benefit of our residents and our precious environment whilst making sure we have the necessary resilience in our existing road network.

“We will also be looking more closely at a number of proposals to improve travel in the wider county including continuing to support plans for a new parkway railway station at Pontrilas, facilitating schools to provide transport at cost to parents and smart lift sharing, and community-led proposals such as the rural greenways projects.

"This will enable the council to assess the benefits and determine which of these extra projects should be taken forward.”

“This is a truly exciting time for us all as a county and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get things right.”

A proposed eastern crossing would see a link across the river to Rotherwas.