Sitting in traffic?
Herefordians often complain of heavy traffic. However, all of the traffic crossing the bridge has decreased in recent years and that the amount of HGV traffic crossing the bridge has reduced by 30%. In fact it is only 3.3% of all traffic (Dept for Transport 2017).
But traffic has increased by 7% because buses are down by 62% since 2000. The new city link road and associated new traffic controls have clearly increased congestion across the city.
The good news is, traffic could decrease further with the advent of modern technology.
The bad news is, if the Western Bypass is built, traffic will increase!
Other cities are using the internet (phone apps, superfast broadband, the internet of things and so on) to get people car-sharing and enabling them to use cars only when they need them. The lack of data connections and slowness of speed in Hereford and around the county prevents us from reducing our reliance on cars.
Most road trips in Hereford city are between 2-3 miles. This means they are within the city and could easily be walked or cycled. Moreover, good data connections would make car and bus clubs really accessible. So, why are we driving?
Herefordshire Council does not plan to help us use buses, car share, cycle or walk around the city until after the Bypass is built in 2027. Even then, there is still no clear plan of what they will actually do.
Addressing the congestion issues within Hereford, getting us walking, cycling, and really sharing lifts and buses, would take very little time and, at £25million, less than 12% of the cost of the planned Bypass. Smart new technology solutions would still be less costly and Hereford is an ideal city to trial, promote and even sell these types of solutions. Just think what our new university could do if the council and the government got behind smart mass transport systems in Hereford!
Delays are inevitable during the staged construction of roads, slip roads and major housing estates.
Wouldn't you rather cancel your gym membership, chuck the inhaler, and meet your friends on the way to work/school?