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.
Sustainable transport measures, which could actually reduce car use or tackle congestion in the South Wye area are not yet available and do not form part of the planning application. Investment in buses and “active travel” will only be provided if funding is still available after the costs of the new road (estimated to be over £27million) have been covered.
Here for Hereford hope that as many people as possible will comment on this planning application. However, the actual planning application contains 107 documents, many of which are large file sizes, so this guide tries to highlight some simple points you may wish to make. We understand that hard copies of the planning application can be viewed at Franklin House in Hereford if you would like to view them more easily or if you know people who have no computer access.
- The majority of traffic on the Belmont Road will not divert to this new Southern Link Road .“56% of traffic originating in the Belmont area travelling northbound along the Belmont Road had a final destination within Hereford to the north of the River Wye (22% travelled to the city centre)” (Parsons Brinkerhoff South Wye Transport Package – Sustainable Transport Measures Report – Package Assembly Report Appendix A 5th May 2015 para 3.2.3)
- Sustainable transport measures provide better value for money than new road building. The Highways Agency and the Department of Transport require simple sustainable transport measures to be implemented ahead of road building schemes as these measures to tackle congestion can be delivered more quickly than major road infrastructure and can be more effective at REDUCING vehicle congestion.
- The Council’s transport and planning policies are not supported by this road. The road on its own is contrary to Herefordshire Council’s Development Plan Policies in both the existing Unitary Development Plan and the emerging Core Strategy as:-
(i) it increases travel by car; CO2 emissions and pollution (air, noise and light);
(ii) does not promote walking or cycling (the Southern Link Road has no footpath or cycleway along its length).
- The Hereford Enterprise Zone already benefits from the new Rotherwas Access Road. The A49-A465 road will not improve access to developments such as the HEZ, as “The 71 ha site … already benefits from the new Rotherwas access road, completed in June 2008, giving the estate quick and easy access to the A49, M50 and the rest of the motorway network”. (Marches LEP website).
- The road will discourage active travel in the South Wye area. “The proportion of the working population cycling to work in the two wards south of the Wye is much higher than the England & Wales average (and also above the regional average). The proportion of those walking to work is higher than average in St Martin’s and Hinton (much of which is within walking distance of both the city centre and Rotherwas Industrial Estate. (Parsons Brinkerhoff South Wye Transport Package – Sustainable Transport Measures Report – Package Assembly Report Appendix A 5th May 2015 para 3.2.2). Motorised traffic on the A49 will increase, making this major route in and out of Hereford unattractive and potentially hazardous for non-motorised traffic.
6. The heritage assets, the high grade agricultural land, the ancient woodlands and the protected water courses that feed in to the SAC River Wye will be irrevocably damaged, if planning permission for this road is granted.
The consultation on this new “road” closes on 18th June so please submit your comments before that date either by :-
- Going online on Herefordshire Council website (see link above) then click on the “comment” link right at the bottom of the page.
- In writing to Ms Kelly Gibbons, Planning Dept, PO Box 230, Blueschool House, Blueschool Street, Hereford. HR1 2ZB. (Tel 01432 261781).
In any correspondence include the planning application reference given at the top of this page P151314/F.