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Sun August 18 2019

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Council halts £129m bypass scheme

6 days Plans for the construction of a £129m bypass in Hereford have been put on ice by the county council.

Herefordshire Council was Conservative-run until local elections in May 2019 saw it move to no overall control. The bypass was a key election issue, with several newly elected councillors campaigning against it.

The council cabinet has now decided to ‘pause and review’ the Hereford bypass, as well as the Southern link road scheme, which represents a follow-on second stage of the bypass.

Civil engineering contractors Balfour Beatty and Griffiths were among the partners of the Hereford 2020 initiative backing the project.

The county council has agreed to budget £70,000 for a review of the Hereford bypass and £50,000 to review the Southern link road.

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Cllr John Harrington, cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, said: “Following a change of administration and with time to reflect, it has now been decided to pause all work on the Hereford bypass and Southern link road to allow further time to review these schemes in more detail and look at other options. There are many complex issues that need to be considered and it is very important to examine these thoroughly.

“The views of residents, commuters and local businesses are very important to us. It is vital that travel, transport and infrastructure developments in Hereford support the economy, help to improve health and wellbeing and make Herefordshire a better place to live, work and visit. We also need to ensure we effectively respond to the climate emergency declared by Herefordshire Council and the government.

“As part of this review it is important to consider alternative options. For example this will include infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians (including safe routes to school), an eastern river crossing and trialling the removal of some traffic signals. It could also include options for an electric bus service, improving school bus services and an ultra-light rail system.

“All options need to be considered as we look to the long term and towards providing a high quality, integrated and low carbon transport system for the whole of Herefordshire, not just for the immediate future but for generations to come.”

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