Campaigners call out Herefordshire Council over backing for bypass and link road plans

THE Highways Agency (HA) says Herefordshire Council is on its own over plans for Hereford’s western bypass of Hereford and route linking the A49 to the A465.

This week the HA backed away from offering formal support to either route.

Campaigners say this counters any official justification the council claims for pressing ahead with the projects.

The issue arose out of comments made by council leader councillor Tony Johnson in a radio interview relating to the Department of Transport (DoT) setting limits to traffic movement on the A49 and the threat that posed to development at Rotherwas without new roads .

Campaign group Here for Hereford (HFH) seized on what it claims is a discrepancy between Cllr Johnson’s comments and the official line  from the HA, which manages the road network for the DoT.

HFH says answers it has from the HA confirm the agency as not specifically requiring the western bypass to be built, not setting traffic movement limits on the A49 south of the city and  not conducting any transport modelling associated with the proposed A49 to A465 link road.

The Hereford Times put these claims to the HA.

In response, the HA issued a statement saying: "This is a Herefordshire Council proposal and as such completely a matter for them at this time."

On its website, HFH has published the contents of a letter from the HA dated April 7 this year that it says exposes the discrepancies between the council and the agency.

Amongst the answers are:

Traffic volumes have fallen by an average of 3.7% on the A49 south of Hereford between 2009 and 2013

The Highways Agency has not set any ‘traffic movement limits’ along the length of the A49

The A49/A465 link road is a Herefordshire lead proposal. The Highways Agency has not conducted any modelling associated with this.

The Highways Agency is not specifically requiring the Western Relief road to be built and has made no contribution to the funding of the road. At this stage it is not within any of Highways Agency’s current or forward programme plans

Councillor Phillip Price, cabinet member for infrastructure, said the “relief road” proposals form part of the larger vision for the county to unlock development land around the route of the corridor.

“These proposals, which are fundamental to the delivery of the council’s Core Strategy, will be progressed by the council with support coming from relevant organisations at the necessary time,” he said.

Comments (8)

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2:57pm Fri 25 Apr 14

AylestoneVoice says...

We quite often hear from Here For Hereford but when you go to their website you cannot find out exactly who they are or what they stand for. What does HFH mean?
I think it is a few Breinton residents who obviously don't want a new road by them plus a few "greens" who want us back on pony and traps.
Happy to be proved wrong
We quite often hear from Here For Hereford but when you go to their website you cannot find out exactly who they are or what they stand for. What does HFH mean? I think it is a few Breinton residents who obviously don't want a new road by them plus a few "greens" who want us back on pony and traps. Happy to be proved wrong AylestoneVoice
  • Score: 4

3:16pm Fri 25 Apr 14

mlevans says...

AylestoneVoice - I know the Chairman of HFH he is neither a resident of Breinton nor a "Green" who wants us back on "pony and traps"!

The problem is you are too worried about who is a member of HFH rather than being concerned that the Leader of the Council either on his own behalf or through being badly briefed by Officers was prepared to be less than candid and honest with a Journalist regarding such an important issue.

The point here is that is doesn't matter whether you support a Western Route or not, surely Local Politicians should not appear to be anything less than honest!
AylestoneVoice - I know the Chairman of HFH he is neither a resident of Breinton nor a "Green" who wants us back on "pony and traps"! The problem is you are too worried about who is a member of HFH rather than being concerned that the Leader of the Council either on his own behalf or through being badly briefed by Officers was prepared to be less than candid and honest with a Journalist regarding such an important issue. The point here is that is doesn't matter whether you support a Western Route or not, surely Local Politicians should not appear to be anything less than honest! mlevans
  • Score: 5

4:17pm Fri 25 Apr 14

AylestoneVoice says...

Sorry - I am not so worried about who is running HFH but more about what they stand for. Reading their website they are opposed to about anything. Is this the case? Also who decides their policy? if you are being asked to support them you can reasonably ask who they are and what they stand for. For example is there a committee, a chairman etc. How would someone find out how they agree things
If they are criticising the Council for whatever they need to avoid being labelled as a similar secretive and self appointed organisation
Sorry - I am not so worried about who is running HFH but more about what they stand for. Reading their website they are opposed to about anything. Is this the case? Also who decides their policy? if you are being asked to support them you can reasonably ask who they are and what they stand for. For example is there a committee, a chairman etc. How would someone find out how they agree things If they are criticising the Council for whatever they need to avoid being labelled as a similar secretive and self appointed organisation AylestoneVoice
  • Score: 5

4:20pm Fri 25 Apr 14

William Rudd says...

The Highways agency are again taking the p**s when it comes to Herefords traffic problems.
They take the p**s with the SCOOT system that simply does not work although Herefordshire Council pay them over £20,000 a year to look after it.
They took the P**s with the near 1 million they spent on the Asda slip road,Edgar Street third lane and the joke improvements to starting gate roundabout.
Clueless idiots

Who are these clowns
The Highways agency are again taking the p**s when it comes to Herefords traffic problems. They take the p**s with the SCOOT system that simply does not work although Herefordshire Council pay them over £20,000 a year to look after it. They took the P**s with the near 1 million they spent on the Asda slip road,Edgar Street third lane and the joke improvements to starting gate roundabout. Clueless idiots Who are these clowns William Rudd
  • Score: 9

7:51pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Hereford person says...

Well this will please Its Our County they only had two policy's, the first was no new shopping centre on the old market and no new roads.
Well this will please Its Our County they only had two policy's, the first was no new shopping centre on the old market and no new roads. Hereford person
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Hereford Voice says...

No mention of an alternative 'Eastern' bypass route I notice...
No mention of an alternative 'Eastern' bypass route I notice... Hereford Voice
  • Score: 2

3:34pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Richard Stow says...

The "Here for Hereford" allegations are serious and backed up by detailed responses from the Highways Agency. Hereford Times should ask Cllr Johnson to explain his comments, a bland quote from Cllr Price is not good enough.

Also, as suggested by Hereford Voice, ask Cllr Johnson why he wont support an Eastern Link road, linking Rotherwas to the Ledbury Road via a second river crossing. This has been repeatedly requested by the Board of the Enterprise Zone, and backed by Jesse Norman MP. Why wont Hereford Tories support the Enterprise Zone??
The "Here for Hereford" allegations are serious and backed up by detailed responses from the Highways Agency. Hereford Times should ask Cllr Johnson to explain his comments, a bland quote from Cllr Price is not good enough. Also, as suggested by Hereford Voice, ask Cllr Johnson why he wont support an Eastern Link road, linking Rotherwas to the Ledbury Road via a second river crossing. This has been repeatedly requested by the Board of the Enterprise Zone, and backed by Jesse Norman MP. Why wont Hereford Tories support the Enterprise Zone?? Richard Stow
  • Score: 9

7:37pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Cambo 1 says...

I'm not so sure of a eastern route? as I would think most traffic coming through Hereford is on its way from South Wales enroute to the north west of England or going back the other way. I do think however Hereford does need a second river crossing thou where that should be I'm not sure? But I've always thought that the old great western way would have made a good relief road for smaller vehicles as the infrastructure is mostly there already?
I'm not so sure of a eastern route? as I would think most traffic coming through Hereford is on its way from South Wales enroute to the north west of England or going back the other way. I do think however Hereford does need a second river crossing thou where that should be I'm not sure? But I've always thought that the old great western way would have made a good relief road for smaller vehicles as the infrastructure is mostly there already? Cambo 1
  • Score: 2

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