Issue - meetings

New Road Strategy for Hereford

Meeting: 28/03/2024 - Cabinet (Item 110)

110 New Road Strategy for Hereford pdf icon PDF 964 KB

The report seeks Cabinet’s agreement to the revised priorities within the Hereford Transport Strategy and to agree to draw down investment in new road infrastructure to improve network resilience and support the growth and development of Herefordshire in accordance with the current Local Transport Plan and Core Strategy policy frameworks.


Additional documents:


The cabinet member for transport and infrastructure provided background information and an overview of the report. It was explained that traffic congestion had been a problem in Hereford for many years, causing journey unreliability and negatively impacting the local economy, environment and health of local residents.


It was noted that the problems were recognised by the Council, Midlands Connect (the sub regional transport body) and National Highways (which was responsible for the A49).


It was highlighted that the official diversion route in the event of the closure of Greyfriars Bridge was 38 miles long, which created issues with network resilience far wider than the city itself.


It was also highlighted that the Herefordshire Economic Plan stated that the county had the lowest productivity of any county in England. Wages were 16% below the national average and traffic congestion created increased costs for business, discouraged investment and created difficulties for residents in accessing training, work, leisure and other services.


The cabinet member pointed out that the draft Local Plan had identified a need for thousands of new homes in the city and additional employment land to support the economy, but highway capacity limits were restricting the full development of key sites.

It was stated that congestion on the A49 splits the city in two and that a road link would be an essential part of transport package that would include active travel measures.

The cabinet member pointed out that any new road would need to support Cabinet’s objectives to: deliver economic benefits, improve network resilience, detrunk the existing A49, deliver traffic benefits, support city centre improvements and support the draft Local Plan.


The cabinet member for transport and infrastructure acknowledged the undoubted merits of the strategic outline business case for the Eastern River Crossing and Link Road. However, following like-for-like comparisons carried out by officers and consultants, the Hereford Western Bypass remained Council policy and the report showed the Western Bypass to be more effective than the Eastern Crossing in addressing the Cabinet’s objectives.


The Council was currently in the design and deliver stage for a number of grant funded active travel measures throughout the city, these measures would provide greater choice in how to travel, but would not improve the capacity or resilience of the road network. It was stated that the measure would benefit greatly from the detrunking of the A49, which would only be achievable through the adoption of the proposed Western Bypass.


The cabinet member for transport and infrastructure concluded by pointing out that the report identified both capital and revenue funding to progress both phases of the Hereford Western Bypass. Additionally, the Council had recently been notified of its allocation of over £100 million of local transport funding over a seven year period and was currently engaged with the Department of Transport on how to progress the scheme.


Cabinet members were invited to comment:


The cabinet member for economy and growth supported the strategy and felt that it would resolve road congestion issues, allow for affordable  ...  view the full minutes text for item 110