Leaders of two parties in Herefordshire campaigning to bring back the cancelled Hereford bypass project have dismissed claims that it is unachievable.

On Wednesday, Labour's policy officer for the county and ward candidate Joe Emmett said at a debate that a bypass “won’t now happen” and questioned whether it was realistic for other parties to claim otherwise during the current campaign.

Even serving Conservative councillor Paul Rone agreed at the meeting that, for all its merits, “no one in the room would live to see” a revived bypass proposal coming to fruition.

But leader of the Liberal Democrats in Herefordshire Coun Terry James, who has backed the city bypass plan for over 20 years, said: “We managed to upgrade the Rotherwas access road in three or four years while I was (council) leader.

“It’s no good being defeatist about these sort of projects.”


He said that according to the party’s private polling, “around 85 per cent of people in Hereford want the bypass”.

“They are angry about councillors blocking it,” Coun James said.  “It’s the foremost issue in Hereford.”

Meanwhile Conservative group leader Coun Jonathan Lester said: “This highlights the real damage that the Green/Independent coalition has done to Herefordshire over the past four years.”

Part of the project, the southern link road, “would have been completed by 2023”, while Government funding and planning permission for the actual bypass “would have been secured”, he said.


“After the Green Independents go, it must be put back on the agenda as the only viable way to create economic growth and ease traffic congestion.”

The Lib Dems’ “2023 manefesto” [sic] webpage puts “Build the Bypass Now!” as its second priority after “Support Local Business”.

The website of the Hereford and South Herefordshire Conservatives says: “Hereford is in desperate need for a bypass to help elevate [sic] the traffic issues across the city.”

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