A new report outlining the business case for a new road crossing of the Wye east of Hereford shows it is no longer a cheap option for relieving traffic in the city.

Herefordshire Council commissioned consultants AECOM to prepare a strategic outline case (SOC), initially for 18 “road and non-road options” which they narrowed down to the best two.

Both would start at the A438 immediately east of Hereford and end up east of Rotherwas south of the river, at the junction where the Stright Mile meets the B4399 Rotherwas relief road. Each would include a walking and cycling path alongside.


If backed, the schemes would be expected to cost £145-200 million to build, with the bridge alone costing £30-51 million. The work would take around 17 months and would not be complete before 2031, given that the SOC is just the first of three stages in make a case for the project.

But “no funding for the scheme is currently secured”, the report points out, adding that with the council having only “limited” resources, the project could only happen with government funding.

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The report will now go to a meeting of the council’s cabinet on January 25, which will also consider the case for the Southern Link Road among options within a new Herefordshire local transport plan.

Cabinet member for transport Coun Philip Price said the new report “has identified a significant increase in costs from earlier estimates, much of which is due to the long bridge required to cross the river Wye flood plane”.

As a result, it “can no longer be viewed as a low-cost alternative to the western bypass”, he said.