More Confusion over Herefordshire Road Building Budgets – When is a Loan a Grant?

Cabinet met on 16 November 2017 to progress the Southern Link Road, and look at the current state of the Council’s Budget. As the meeting started the large number of public present were advised that the Cabinet report mentioned repayment of a loan of £1.697million. This was apparently incorrect – the ‘loan’ was to be re-profiled, not repaid.

It appears that the S151 officer (Herefordshire Council’s Chief Finance Officer) was not aware that in early 2017 the Marches LEP had made advances of money totaling £1.697million to Herefordshire Council. This was not a grant as the money was to be repaid to the Marches LEP in full by 31st March 2018. Just one of a number of draw down agreements, for January 2017, signed by Herefordshire Council officers, can be seen here – SWTP Drawdown Notice 9.1.17 of £1.066M from Marches LEP to be repaid by 31.3.18. Continue reading

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City Link Rd £7 Million Over Budget

The Herefordshire Council meeting held on 13th October 2017 was given another example of Council capital overspending. In response to a public question they heard that the Hereford City Link Road, an 800 metre stretch of road linking the A49 and A465 in the middle of Hereford, will now be expected to cost over £34 million when it opens at the end of this year. Continue reading ...

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Respond to the Hereford Transport Package by 22nd May 2017

River Wye floodplain at Warham in the Proposed Western Relief Road Corridor River Wye floodplain at Warham in the Proposed Western Relief Road Corridor
Herefordshire Council are currently undertaking a consultation on a new plan for Hereford City, called the Hereford Area Plan and a transport proposal called the Hereford Transport Package. With this title you might think this transport consultation would apply to the whole of Hereford City and give a comprehensive, joined up strategy for tackling congestion in the City and enabling housing and jobs to grow.
In fact the Hereford Transport Pacakge covers just the north of the City and includes a road to the west of Hereford which Herefordshire Council are calling the “Hereford Bypass”. This is not a “bypass” as Highways England are not proposing the road as a trunk road and currently this road will pass through new housing developments along its route and demolishing existing homes that lie along the route.
Many people do not agree with this road proposal, including both of Herefordshire’s MPs.
If you want to respond to the current Hereford Transport package consultation you need to do it by 22nd May 2017. Continue reading ...

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Watch Out – The A49 Proposed as an Alternative for M5 Traffic

In its attempts to secure funding for a “Bypass” for Hereford City, Herefordshire Council is working with Highways England on justifying the A49 as an alternative route for traffic from the M5/M6 to tackle congestion on the existing motorway network. Continue reading ...

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The Southern Link Road Cannot be Assessed as Part of the Hereford Bypass

Funding for the South Wye Transport Package has always been on the basis that the road from the A49 to the A465 and continuing to the B4349 Clehonger Road, is a stand -alone project. This was made very clear by the Department for Transport in their meeting with Herefordshire Council on 13th October 2015 (see full meeting minutes here ) Continue reading ...

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Destination Hereford Project Success kept Secret for 6 Months – Why?

This report assessing the impact of the Governments funding in Hereford City for promoting sustainable transport, was completed in March 2016. Despite the success of this project in tackling congestion in Hereford, this report was kept confidential. It was only when the project outcomes were formally requested via a public question at a full meeting of Herefordshire Council, on 30th September 2016, that the Council decided to release the document. Continue reading ...

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Is there a £7 Million Hole in the South Wye Transport Package?

The South Wye Transport Package (SWTP) Outline Business Case submitted by the Marches LEP to Central Government  described the following components as key elements of the project:-
New link road linking A465 with A49 (the Southern Link Road);
Pedestrian crossing improvements to Belmont Road and A49 in Hereford urban area;
Cycle and walking provision on and off road at A49 and A465;
Residential cycling schemes in Belmont and Bullingham. Continue reading ...

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What is the True Cost of the Southern Link Road to date?

The reports to the Cabinet meeting on Thursday 16th June 2016 contain amongst the various papers  a report called the Capital Out Turn Report 2015/16 which shows how taxpayers money has been spent on “Capital” projects. These projects include a number of transport projects such as the City Link Road and the Southern Link Road (SLR). Continue reading ...

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HTA Comments on Southern Link Rd Submitted by Jesse Norman

Jesse Norman MP has made an objection to the Southern Link Road and in it included this representation from Hereford Transport Alliance, about their concerns over this road project ahead of any sustainable transport measures that will actually tackle the causes of congestion in the South Wye area of Hereford. Continue reading ...

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Open Letter to the Highways Agency

Attention Mr. Patrick Thomas Continue reading ...

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Scrutiny Committee fails to support Cabinet decision on Southern Link Road

2nd December saw members of the General Overview and Scrutiny meeting come together to consider the Herefordshire Council Cabinet decision last month to approve a route of a Southern Link Road.  The budgeted cost of £27.6 m has been secured through a provisional grant from the Marches LEP. Continue reading ...

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What the Cabinet Report didn’t say about the Highways Agency

The Conservative Cabinet of Herefordshire Council have just approved a Southern Link Road for Hereford and so failed to adopt the Highways Agency’s guuidance on implementing sustainable transport measures BEFORE embarking on road building schemes. Continue reading ...

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Some Questions and Answers on the Southern Link Road.

Here for Hereford answers some pertinent questions, following the Cabinet’s recommendation to spend £27.6 million on a Southern Link Road from the A49 to the A465 in the South Wye area of Hereford.  According to Herefordshire Council’s  latest background report the Southern Link Road will not deliver the Council’s agreed objectives for the economy and for transport. Continue reading ...

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Funding for the Full South Wye Transport Package is in doubt.

Herefordshire Council is only promoting one element of the scheme – the building of a southern link road, from the A49 to the A465. Continue reading ...

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South Wye Transport Package – Where is the Evidence?

Here for Hereford reported back in April how the Leader of Herefordshire Council had misled the people of Hereford over transport issues in Hereford, particularly the A49-A465 “Southern Link Road”. ( Here for Hereford Article April 2014 ) .We quoted evidence from the Highways Agency that traffic on the A49 has fallen in recent years and that the Highways Agency has placed no barriers that could inhibit the development of the Hereford Enterprise Zone (HEZ). Continue reading ...

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Historic England Repeat Objections to Southern Link Road

Historic England (HE, formerly English Heritage) for the second time, are recommending refusal or deferral of the Council’s application to build a link road in South Hereford, across the open countryside of Grafton and Merryhill. Their Principal Inspector of Ancient Monuments writes that Historic England is not sure that the relative weight afforded to the historic environment is robust enough to allow demonstrable compliance with National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Section 12 (Conserving And Enhancing The Historic Environment). Continue reading ...

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