A NEW orchard could soon welcome visitors to Hereford as they step off the train.

Councillor John Harrington floated the idea at a Herefordshire Council meeting called to discuss the future of Hereford's transport plans on July 22.

The plans, agreed under the previous council, included the city link road, a transport hub at the railway station and improvements for walking, cycling and public transport along Commercial Road, Blueschool Street and Newmarket Street.

But the scheme has run into difficulties after a major overspend on the city link road, meaning elements of the package, including the transport hub, are having to be re-thought.

And with a re-think on the cards for the plans, councillors are keen to make the most of the county's heritage.

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"We have a beautiful Victorian railway station that we have not seen for some years because it has had industrial units in front of it," Coun Harrington said.

"So we tore those units down as part of the compulsory purchase process and then the original proposals that I saw were for sticking back bus shelters right in front of that building. We don't need that. We need that building as it is focused on, highlighted, with proper, decent landscaping. Let's get a lovely orchard.

"Wouldn't it be lovely if you come off the train in Hereford and in front of you is an orchard and the May blossom. Wouldn't that be a lot nicer than just repeating what's done in any other place?"