Wye Ruin It?

Wye Ruin It?


Our Message to Parliament

Our Campaign to Stop Hereford Bypass Is focused on three National Issues

1. Road congestion increasing with new roads
2. Pollution and its effect on human health
3. Cost effectiveness of new infrastructure

Herefordshire County Council is misleading the public describing the bypass as a relief road when it will only result in more congestion. The Council’s consultants designed a scheme that will envelope thousands of new houses on a flood plain with a necklace of fine particulate emissions. This Council cannot be trusted to refurbish its own offices, let alone a circa £500m infrastructure development.


Chris Grayling
Secretary of State for Transport, .@chrisgraylingMP
You are not looking after the National interests if you allow the construction of a high level bridge over the Wye SAC / SSSI and Hereford bypass that will see congestion increase with increased flows from the M5/M6 corridor. Do not accept the proposed economic arguments from a County Council that failed to manage a £1million office refurbishment without doubling the cost, a County Council that designed a Core Development Strategy before analysis of its impact of key water resources and major employers in the area. 

Michael Gove
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, .@michaelgove
You are not looking after the environment if you allow the construction of a high level bridge over the Wye SAC / SSSI to access a flood plain for development of mostly unaffordable housing west of Hereford. Do not accept Flood Management Strategy from an administration that failed to survey flood effects of future developments. This is a National issue. Surface water run-off, flooding and its effect on city lives and the economy should be addressed before development.

Jesse Norman MP jessenorman@dft.gsi.gov.uk
Herefordshire South, Transport minister for Roads and Buses.@jesse_norman
We have written to you and our MP @BillWigginMP and asked him to ask you to stop the Hereford Bypass. You stated it is a decision for local administrators. The County Council is hell bent on developing in flood plains, despite the effects of global warming and the threat to local industry using the aquifers. Who can hold this County Council Cabinet to account when you pass the buck to the very Quangos that you are funding. Where are the much needed public transport initiatives that would negate the need for major infrastructure and improve the economy in Hereford City?

Bill Wiggin MP bill.wiggin.mp@parliament.uk 
Herefordshire North
We have written to you and asked you to stop the Hereford Bypass within the Core strategy. You have in turn written to Chris Grayling and Jesse Norman. Thank you for your support. The County Council is hell bent on developing in flood plains, despite the effects of global warming and the threat to local industry using the aquifers. Who can hold this County Council Cabinet to account? 

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The text below is adapted from one of the many letters that have been sent to our members of parliament and the minister of transport, as well as Herefordshire Council. 

Dear Chris Grayling Minister of Transport
We are writing as members of the Hereford North and South constituencies to register our dismay that the Herefordshire County Council (HCC) insists on advancing a destructive and outdated plan to develop our city. Herefordshire County Council's allocation of limited funds should be prioritised to essential services in decline, like public health, education and public transport to reduce congestion and new technologies to improve the business environment. HCC has proposed and advanced a road building scheme, part financed by house building companies and failed to address the real traffic and housing problems.

The proposed housing development schemes do not address the chronic shortage of affordable homes. The density of development and location will not provide the homes needed for local workers. We need 1,300 new affordable homes urgently not 6,500 homes. The 20% increase in Herefordshire households and 26% increase in Hereford City Households will just add to traffic congestion. If we must allow house builders to build 6,500 houses to get 1,300 affordable ones, the tail is wagging the dog.

The proposed Hereford Western Relief Road is a complete white elephant in terms of cost and design. The road was conceived and allegedly optimised in 2010 to reduce congestion. It is part of a scheme to increase North South business links in Herefordshire and Shropshire and alleviate congestion on the M5/M6 corridor. We believe the A49 infrastructure is not suitable for M5/M6 traffic being mostly single carriageway. The proposal will result in a major increase in traffic. In fact just 20% of current M5/M6 volumes would treble A49 traffic volume.
The comparative volumes of HGV traffic are such that a 20% share of M5/M6 traffic will quintuple A49 HGV traffic and treble total A49 traffic. That is just ludicrous given the scale of the relief road, a single carriageway winding through and west of newly proposed housing estates.

Then there is the national research on health issues associated with diesel pollution. Does this Council have any idea what it is doing to future generations of school children by designing housing estates downwind of plumes of diesel particulates? This scheme is both inconsiderate and outright dangerous to the population of Hereford.

We urge you to stop this project which is not sustainable development. The western route is a very capital intensive option given the requirement for a single span, high-level crossing over the SAC / SSSI Wye Valley and the extensive earthworks required to eliminate blind summits either side of the valley. The original estimate of £132m was ‘optimised’ ten years ago before substantial changes in construction, design and materials technology, let alone the changes in mass transport technologies. The evergreen cost-plus contract of Balfour Beatty will only encourage consultants to over design and over develop our open space and transport infrastructure.

1. The 6,500 proposed new houses will add to city congestion
2. Western Relief Road will not alleviate city congestion and treble A49 traffic
3. It will damage future human health and destroy natural habitat
4. It will ultimately cost tax payers far, far more than £132m estimated in 2010

Please remove this road building scheme from future budgets and consider a modern strategic analysis of the city’s public transport and housing requirements.

Yours Sincerely

Wye Ruin It?


Patricia Ronan