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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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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Southern Link Road & Hereford’s Ecology Network

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This map shows the proposed Hereford Southern Link Road and Clehonger Link overlaid with the “Ecological Network” map produce in 2013 by Herefordshire Council.It also shows the Herefordshire Council Land ownership.
The Ecological Network map is part of the Core Strategy Local Plan which  states (para 5.3.16) “Development within and adjacent to these core areas and associated
buffer zones will need to be sympathetically designed to ensure there are
no adverse impacts upon them.” Note the “NO ADVERSE IMPACTS”. The map is somewhat limited as it does not necessarily include all important sites and linkages. For example, the footpath between Grafton Wood and the A49 should qualify as a wildlife corridor, as it is clearly an ancient track with old hedges on both sides, and a clear ancient boundary bank on one side. Continue reading ...

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“Unsound” Local Plan Approved after Pressure from Westminster?

Here for Hereford has been engaged throughout the development of the Herefordshire Local Plan to try and ensure that the growth planned for the County, in particular for Hereford and its rural hinterland, is sustainable and enhances the local economy and environment, and improves health and well being for its residents. Continue reading ...

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“Extraordinary” Meeting to Adopt Local Plan 2011-2031

After 8 years in the planning what is the actual Local Plan for Herefordshire for 2011 to 2031? Here for Hereford has been trying to find out for over a week now, what the final Local Plan documents for adoption at the Extraordinary Council meeting on Friday 16th Oct 2015 actually are. We have had no clear response and on Friday 16th Oct we found out why – no one really knows what documents are to be sent to the Secretary of State as the Local Plan for Herefordshire 2011-31. Continue reading ...

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How Traffic Increases with the Southern Link Road, Hereford

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This map shows the AVERAGE ANNUAL DAILY TRAFFIC FLOWS (AADTs) from a 2012 baseline and with the construction of the Southern Link Road in both 2017 and then 2032. All data has come from Herefordshire Council’s consultants Parsons Brinkerhoff as part of the planning application for construction of this new £27million road.
Modelling and forecasting traffic is very complex so we are trying to keep it simple.
The modelling shows that when the Southern Link Road is opened in 2017:
a. A465 Belmont Road traffic on the would decrease by 13%  (on section B below the Asda gyratory).
b. A49 Ross Road Traffic  would increase by 15% ( on the section L below the Asda gyratory).
c. Traffic on A49 Greyfriars Bridge would remain unchanged at 45,000 per day. Continue reading ...

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High Grade Agricultural Land in the Southern Link Road Corridor

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This map is taken from the Herefordshire Land Classification Map and shows the land in the corridor of the Southern Link Road, graded from 1, the highest grade, down to grade 5, the poorest soils. The best and most versatile land is defined by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as Grades 1, 2 and 3a. These top grades of land are the most flexible, productive and efficient in response to inputs and can best deliver food and non food crops for future generations. Soil is a non-renewable resource with its preservation essential for food security and our sustainable future. Soils host a quarter of the planets’ total biodiversity, as well as acting as a store and water filter, improving our  resilience to floods and droughts. Continue reading ...

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Housing and the Southern Link Road

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THIS MAP SHOWS: The Southern Link Road and Potential Housing Development sites from the  Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA).
THE MARCHES LEP AND HEREFORDSHIRE COUNCIL STATE THAT THE SOUTHERN LINK ROAD WILL ‘UNLOCK LAND FOR HOUSING’.  THIS CAN ONLY BE TRUE IF THERE IS GOING TO BE SIGNIFICANT HOUSING DEVELOPMENT NEAR THE SOUTHERN LINK ROAD WHICH HAS NOT YET BEEN REVEALED.
We have provided this information to show:-
a. The Southern Link Road (and Rotherwas Link/Access Road) act as “Distributor” Roads to open up land for significant housing around Hereford.
b. Using an average housing density of 35 dwellings per Hectare (the Core Strategy
Southern Urban Expansion density), and applying that to the SHLAA land
areas, the total potential for houses on the SHLAA sites would be 12,705.
c. The Southern Link Road traverse the small holding land in Herefordshire Council’s ownership which could deliver a further 2,310 homes. Total housing potential is 15,015.
d. The number of houses assigned to the Southern Urban Expansion in the
Core Strategy is 1,000 MINIMUM. So the 14,015 house building potential is currently not explicit in any plan. However, the total number of houses to be delivered for Hereford is a minimum of 6,500 to 2031. With Herefordshire Council needing the new Homes Bonus to fund the Southern Link Road expect delivery of new house building within the Southern Link Road area.
d. Traffic from these houses will still need to access Hereford for work, schools, hospitals or shopping so do not be fooled by claims that a Relief Road will enable that. 85% of traffic in Hereford is “internal” i.e. starting and finishing journeys within the City. Any so-called ‘Relief Road’ will not go into Hereford.
e. The “constraints” which could prevent delivery on these SHLAA sites are likely to disappear under the Core Strategy  and the National Planning Policy Framework rules.
f. There is currently a 2015 “call for sites” underway by
Herefordshire Council with developers and land owners to update the 2012 SHLAA. When this becomes publicly available we will publish an updated map. Continue reading ...

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Government Faces Legal Challenge for Failing to Protect the Rivers Wye & Lugg

The Angling Trust; WWF-UK and Fish Legal have been granted permission by the High Court to seek a judicial review of the government’s failure to protect some of England’s most precious rivers from agricultural and other pollution. The case includes the River Wye and its tributary the River Lugg, which are designated a European Special Area of Conservation (SAC) due to the rare species such as various types of Lamphrey, the Atlantic salmon and the native white clawed crayfish, that can be found in its waters and which use the River Wye catchment area as a breeding ground. In 2011 the River Wye was declared the “Nation’s Favourite River” and plays an important role not just in providing fresh drinking water for local communities, including Hereford City residents, but also in generating employment and income for the County. Continue reading ...

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The Southern Link Road Planning Application (Ref P151314/F)

Herefordshire Council have made a planning application for the “Southern Link Road” to link the A49 and A465 south of Hereford and to then extend this road to link with the Clehonger road (B4349). (Full application page here ). The Council believe that this single carriageway road is the best way to tackle congestion in the South Wye area. The road has no footpath or cycleway along its length as it is purely designed for cars and lorries. A 7 metre (approx. 24 foot) high road bridge will be built to take cars and lorries over the railway line to South Wales. 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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