The Real Cost of a Bypass
Just how much will this road actually cost us?
The 2010 estimated cost for the Western Bypass is £132million. We all know just how much prices have risen since then, and the Brexit effect will exacerbate prices further in the coming years. We estimate that it will cost at least £300 million.
When was a government or local council infrastructure project ever brought in on budget?
The latest headlines illustrate the likely overspend on this road, even if the original estimate could be trusted.
On top of this, a few years ago, Herefordshire Council contracted Balfour Beatty to take over its road infrastructure planning and management. This means that it is in the interest of Balfour Beatty to design the most expensive option. OK, the council say they scrutinise what they do, but a contract is a contract, and the expertise within the council to judge what Balfour Beatty is doing has been lost.
Numbers on the back of an envelope: If our estimates are correct, it will cost each household around £3,800 just to build the Western section of the Bypass. The total cost of building the Bypass will be at least £7,000 per current household.
The ALTERNATIVE? Our local experts estimate that there is a viable alternative that could be developed quickly for around £70 million, that would take freight and actually reduce congestion, without affecting the delicate natural environment. A further £25 million would see good public transport, cycling and walking enabled in Hereford, saving each household £2,000/annum. YES! that would pay your Council Charge!
So a difficult decision: A cost of £7,000/household for a road that will increase congestion, or annual saving of £2,000 with a one off cost of around £500/household for sustainable transport. Which would you choose?