A NUMBER of alternative routes for a city centre link road were "not suitable", a public inquiry heard this week.

The inquiry – one of the biggest ever held in the county – heard that there were a number of objections to the compulsory purchase orders issued by Herefordshire Council in relation to a proposed city-centre link road.

The proposed road would run between Commercial Road and Edgar Street and would have an impact on a number of businesses in its path .

The inquiry – which began yesterday – heard the views of some objectors who felt another route was a better option.

The council responded to Mr H Vaughan who had stated that the council did not appear to have assessed alternatives to the order scheme in "any meaningful way".

Chris Oakley, Herefordshire Council’s transport manager, told the inquiry that while other routes had been considered, the chosen one was the "optimal solution".

In a rebuttal statement to Mr H Vaughan, the council said: “Schemes along the inner ring road itself, along the line of Blackfriars Street and Coningsby Street and along the line of Barrs Court Road were all considered during the master-planning process as were different scales of road within the present corridor for the scheme.

“Options seeking to address wider outer city traffic flow issues were not assessed on the basis that interventions at some distance from the city centre would not address the scheme objectives, including in terms of providing access to regeneration land.”

Mr Vaughan had suggested that his alternative route would offer more significant highway improvements but Herefordshire Council said this was not the point of the link road.

Instead, the link road is aimed at enabling infrastructure designed to facilitate the regeneration of the Edgar Street Grid area and the expansion of the city centre.

It focuses on specific objectives of providing access to new regeneration sites and on improving connectivity to, through and within the area, in particular by relieving traffic levels on Newmarket Street to enable greater connectivity with the historic core.

The inquiry continues.