Our opposition to the Bypass

“The great bulk of traffic on this road is produced by the large number of vehicles converging into Hereford. The amount of traffic which passes through Hereford without stopping there—which would, in fact, use a wide-flung by-pass—is very small indeed. We believe that it would not, if it were constructed, carry a large volume of traffic. We believe that it would do very little indeed to help the solution of the congestion problem in the centre of Hereford.” Philip Noel Baker MP. House of Commons 1st February 1945.


 Like a bad penny the Hereford bypass keeps turning up. It is almost 40 years since CPRE successfully campaigned to prevent an eastern bypass for Hereford close to the Lugg Meadows. Now Herefordshire Council are actively progressing a western bypass; time once again for national and local campaigners to join forces to prevent irreparable damage to our countryside.

Its purpose is sometimes hard to determine. It will not relieve congestion in the city, it has been cited as part of an alternative route to the M50, M5 and M6 route from Wales to the North (really!), but its more recent justification is to release land for development to meet Herefordshire’s housing targets, reminding us of its former description as a distributor road.

We devoted the bulk of our 2018 Annual Report to this issue (click here to view). The proposed bypass presents the biggest threat to the landscape surrounding Hereford in decades along its route west of the city between Belmont and Breinton.

 HCPRE is committed to opposing the plans on the basis that:

  • It will not solve Hereford's transport problems
  • It is a huge waste of scarce public money that could be put to better use and
  • It will do irreparable damage to the county's landscape. At a time when we should be conserving high grade agricultural land and concerned about 'Dark Skies', this road does exactly the opposite. Cost effective transport measures should be considered before building more roads.

As National CPRE's March 2017 report The end of the road? concluded, (click here to view) "all but one road (of the 9) schemes studied induced traffic, reinforcing findings from generations of roads research."