Herefordshire “need to up its game” in bringing in changes to speed limits in order to prevent deaths at blackspots, Liberal Democrat group leader in the county Coun Terry James has said.

“We have just had a fatality on our [Kington] bypass, the sixth in recent years, and nothing’s being done about it,” he told a full meeting of councillors on October 13.

A 63-year-old motorcyclist was fatally injured on September 29 when he was struck by a van on the A4111 outside the Kington Medical Practice.


“I have tried over the years to get speed limits down on that road,” Coun James, who represents the town, said.

“I’ve got it down to 50 [mph], but to get it down to 40 takes an enormous amount of time, and [faces] opposition from the company we employ to do that.”

Proposals to reduce speed limits in the county are handled by he council’s public realm contractor, Balfour Beatty, who employ a third party, ADL, to assess the proposal.


“Why do we employ a company that is more interested getting money for itself than in the safety of motorists?” Coun James demanded.

People in Kington want the rest of the bypass round the town, the A44, also reduced to 40mph, he said afterwards – “but the police don’t want to enforce it”. Meanwhile he fears that the medical practice itself could be hit by a fast-moving wayward vehicle.

Leader of the Conservative-run administration Coun Jonathan Lester said: “It’s tragic there’s been loss of life and it highlights the importance of having highway safety high up the agenda, and [ensuring] that options to increase safety get the weight they deserve.

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“I know from my experience in my own [Bromyard] ward that I have had a hell of a game trying to increase the opportunities for highway safety,” he added.

Leominster North councillor John Stone suggested that “councillors with wards along the A49 trunk road might appreciate meetings here with Highways England [which manages the trunk road network] as we previously had, to discuss issues like the very dangerous Salwey junction [at Woofferton near Ludlow], scene of many accidents”.

Coun Lester said: “It’s vital we work with national partners to ensure we get the maximum highway safety,” while cabinet member for transport Coun Philip Price added: “We will work towards getting those meetings at least as often as they used to be.”