Reducing parking in Hereford is key to re-thinking transport in the city, a council chief said.

David Ubaka, the council’s interim director for transport strategy delivery, told city business representatives earlier this week: “I’m walking in one of the oldest cities in this country and every time I turn a corner, I see another car park – I’ve never seen so many.

“I'm not saying we will stop you driving, but we need to give you more choice – to walk, cycle, and to reinvent your bus service from a rural to an urban model.”

Mr Ubaka, who also runs his own architecture and planning consultancy, explained: “We need to deal with the resilience of the highway network.

“You've got a bridge in Hereford I was told was ‘the new bridge’. I stopped at the Asda, got out and thought, ‘if that's the new bridge, we’ve got a problem’. Because that's a 1960s bridge, which is going to need significant work in the near future.”

The likely maintenance work it will require strengthens the case for a second road bridge over the river to the east, he said.


And he added of the Wye itself: “There is huge potential for it to bring more economic benefit to your city. You have one of the greatest rivers in the UK yet the city has almost turned its back on it.”

The transport strategy has to fit with other plans under development for Hereford, he said.

“We have to create a proper public realm strategy with new green spaces dispersed around the city and its core to make sure Hereford re-greens itself. Making people want to spend longer in towns and cities means they also spend more.”

Having an up-to-date integrated strategy for the city will mean that “when you have conversations with people, you're all on the same page”, he said.

On his own role, which he took up at the start of the year, he explained: “I'm not here forever, I'm here for literally a year, and to do this I need specialists in place – town planning, architecture, cycling and sustainability experts – as the council up-skills itself for the longer term.”

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