Proposed Bypass for Hereford - update July 8th
Herefordshire Council have announced when decisions will be taken on their preferred route for the proposed western bypass for Hereford. At 19.00 on Tuesday 10th July a report about the Hereford Transport Package (HTP) will be published - presumably on Herefordshire Council's website. This will include the Council's preferred route for the bypass from the seven routes shortlisted earlier this year.
The General Scrutiny Committee (GSC) will then consider this report when it meets at 10.00 am on Wednesday 18th July in the Shire Hall Hereford.
The Council's Cabinet will make decisions on Friday 27th July - its meeting also starts at 10.00 am at Shire Hall.
We expect a lengthy report - with many appendices - since it includes the preferred bypass route, the results of the consultation earlier this year and also proposals for active travel measures - cycling etc.
The GSC have decided to examine the HTP proposals before the Cabinet meeting rather than afterwards. This means that once the Cabinet agrees any recommendations on the 27th they are final and there are no delays. Cabinet's decisions cannot be 'called in' and scrutinised again what ever they are. There will be a further public consultation later in 2018.
What can you do?
- Write to your County Councillor and MP objecting to the speed at which this key decision is being taken - see below. (Even if you are not in his constituency you can write to Jesse Norman at the Department for Transport - he is Roads Minister).
- Attend the meetings of Scrutiny and Cabinet - they are open to the Public.
- Ask questions at either the Scrutiny and / or Cabinet meeting - this is where the undue haste/speed of decision comes in. The reports will be long and need time to digest. There is a process and timetable for the public to follow when asking questions which have to be approved by Herefordshire Council's members services section three working days in advance of the meeting.
So for Scrutiny on Wednesday 18th July you will need to get your question in by 5pm Thursday 12th July - less than 48 hours after you have begun to read the paperwork. Surely this does not help public participation in the democratic process?
For Cabinet you have until Monday 23 July 5pm to submit your question
- Gather outside the Shire Hall before either / both meetings to protest.
- Tell your friends how damaging the bypass will be - pass this on - it is unaffordable, will not improve transport in Hereford but will do lots of environmental damage.
- Think - is there someone with influence / a public profile who might be persuaded to support the CPRE stop the bypass campaign?
- Think of any groups / organisations to which you belong - other than CPRE - who might be prepared to listen to a speaker explain why a bypass is a bad idea - speakers can be provided!
CPRE Herefordshire opposes this bypass 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 that 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. Our opposition is supported by Campaign for the Protection of Rural England National Office, the Campaign for Better Transport and the Local Green Party. Local groups of volunteers campaigning against the roads include the Hereford Transport Alliance, Hereford Transport Forum, Here for Hereford and WyeRuinit. They would all welcome more people to help so if you are concerned about this plan do get involved!