From Hereford Market Auctioneers:
Tuesday 2nd February 2021
As you may know, there was a meeting of Herefordshire Council last Thursday, 21st January which effectively killed off the southern link road from the A49 to the A465 Abergavenny road and the rest of the western bypass over the River Wye through to the Roman Road. We understand that approaching £20 million has been spent in preparation for the southern link and western bypass and it would seem an utter waste and travesty if all of this preparation and cost is lost because the ‘colour’ of Herefordshire Council has changed. In the locality, Ross on Wye, Leominster, Brimfield, Ludlow and Shrewsbury either have bypasses or effective road systems to keep the traffic flow of the A49 moving. It is unbelievable and unthinkable that the county city of Hereford should be left out of this essential improvement strategy. The economy of the county and city is of massive importance for employment and rateable income to Herefordshire Council and trying to hold back the progress of the 21st century for Herefordshire would seem to be ridiculous in the extreme.
Hereford Market Auctioneers is not a political animal and we do not have a political ‘axe to grind’ but everyone should know the current situation and how close we are to losing the western bypass for the next, possibly, 20 years. Please use the link at the bottom of this note to contact your local councillor to save this project and save approximately £20 million in expenditure which would be a criminal waste of rate payers’ money if the project does not proceed.
Herefordshire Council are to determine the future of the above two schemes at their full Council meeting on Tuesday 2nd Feb. The Councils Cabinet have recommended scrapping of both schemes and wish to develop new ways to sort congestion, through walking, cycling, electric hopper bus service and an Eastern link river crossing at Rotherwas to the Ledbury Road.
The Western Bypass had reached a stage of development that a route had been selected, engineered drawings are in place, the planning process for the scheme was being worked up in conjunction with Dept for Transport, Highways England, Midlands Connect and funding was likely to be available once planning permission was achieved.
The Southern Link road (part of the South Wye Transport Package) Clehonger to A465 – A49 at Grafton, has planning permission, route and design in place, all compulsory purchase orders in place for all land required and ready to build with funding in place – until – the new administration following the May 2019 election. This funding was in place subject to project delivery by March 2021. This money is not now available and has been lost.
The recommendations are as follows.
That council determines to:
(a) Stop the progress of the southern link road and western bypass schemes which are included in the adopted policy; and
(b) Make amendments to the capital programme such that the Hereford Transport Package and South Wye Transport Package projects are removed from the programme.
The 53 councillors that make the Council will vote on these recommendations. The intent of a majority of Councillors is to scrap both schemes.
To save one or both of these schemes it is incumbent on those that want these schemes to continue, to contact their Ward Councillor, any, or all councillors, to express your view and to ask them for their voting intentions. That includes the chairman of Council Cllr Sebastian Bowen. Should the vote be equal, then the chairman’s casting vote may decide it. It has been normal practice for Chairmen of Council to vote with the administration.
A list of all Councillors can be found on this link,