Alternative uses for Hereford’s car parks are among the topics which people are being asked to give their views on from today.

The city has begun to draw up a masterplan which will guide its future strategy and development, with transport a key theme.

Among the eight questions in its initial engagement with the public, Herefordshire Council asks which of 19 car parks in the city respondents would like to see turned into green spaces, built on, or kept as they are.

They could be turned into affordable homes, student accommodation, hotels, community and health facilities or put to commercial use, the masterplan notes explain.

In April the council’s interim director for transport strategy David Ubaka told a meeting he had “never seen so many car parks” as in Hereford.

The exercise also seeks views on the council’s “park and choose” sites, intended to reduce city centre congestion by encouraging drivers to parks at its edge and continue their journey by bike or bus.


Currently, Hereford has a disproportionately high number of short trips made by car compared with the rest of England.

Some 38 per cent of car journeys in the city are of less than 2km, twice the rate for the rest England outside London, yet this distance can be walked in 25 minutes. And nearly three-quarters of car journeys are of 5km or less, a distance which can be cycled in 20 minutes.

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The council’s head of transport Coun John Harrington said: “Some people will always need to use their car, for long or short journeys. But many journeys such as the school run could be made by other means.”

He added: “We have very little money ourselves and this government tends to throw money at local authorities at the last minute. A masterplan that complies with national policy allows us to be ready to bid for that.

“The Government is already telling us to decarbonise. The masterplan shouldn’t be political, and there is nothing overtly political in it. It will give whoever is in power after (local elections in) May something to work with.”

The online questionnaire and other masterplan documents can be found at and can be submitted until February 3.

Public engagement boards and paper questionnaires can also be found at Maylord Orchards centre in Hereford today and at other locations in the coming weeks.

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