So, still much confusion and dithering regarding the future of our city and the building of a bypass, with ever more money being spent on daft and discredited plans (trams, now water taxis?) to try and reduce the number of vehicles using the three major ‘A’ roads that dissect the city centre.

Major capital projects are always difficult to introduce by local authorities, who generally only have a four-year term to get the administrative work completed.

The plan for a western bypass was the result of some extremely hard work by a dedicated team of councillors and officers, involving dozens of meetings with any number of central and local organisations, including consultation exercises with the residents of Herefordshire, the majority of whom voted in favour of the plans.

Everything was eventually agreed, including the funding and in 2015 the outline plans were written into the council’s Core Strategy.

Unless this strategy has since been revised, these plans should still be honoured.

Confusion still remains regarding the route the roads should take, but it must be remembered that the western bypass was the only way to divert the north/south A49 away from the city centre, including a vital new bridge, with the added bonus of allowing vehicles travelling to and from South Wales to avoid having to enter the city centre.

A win-win in anyone’s book.

The demands for an eastern river crossing have been discussed at length over the past years and will ultimately depend on receiving government permission (previously refused) to build on the SSI at Lugg Meadows.

Such a road would in effect be a partial diversion of the existing east/west routes of the A438 and A4103.

The two main plans both have merit, but are completely different with regard to the roads they could divert away from the city centre.

However, any reduction in the traffic flow (if that’s the right word) through the city, should go some way in meeting the aims of the councillors who are demanding safer routes for walking and cycling.

Bruce Baker
Ocle Pychard

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