Wye Ruin It?

Wye Ruin It?


Public Opposition is the biggest threat to the Bypass

The biggest threat to the Hereford Bypass is public opposition. That is according to the council's own data. They are expecting you! 

The last turn out was really good. Let's double it this time and begin to get the message across!

December 14 at 2pm Council will meet in public at the Shire hall to discuss the plans. If you object let them know. We have prepared thousands of questions, but under their rules we can only ask six questions a year. I know it sounds like the old East German STASI rule doesn't it? We will help you voice your opposition if you register on our website at www.wyeruinit.org.

Remember the three National issues when considering questions for Cabinet. First the traffic congestion increasing, second the resultant pollution generating serious health issues and premature deaths and finally the cost issue; it is not going to work and not good value for money.

To raise a question at the meeting on 14 December you need to email the Cabinet asap via the Council website. If you are on our mailing list, we will send you questions based on the council's own documents, generated by our highly qualified research team.

If you follow their rules it may be accepted. Let us know how you get on via our website. If you attend you can ask a second question so keep the best until last.

Here's a bit more info on one of their dreadful reports:

What is wrong with the often quoted 2011 Independent Review of Hereford Relief Road Technical Studies Report by Parsons Brinckerhoff?

1. This report is not independent, as stated in the title, because the current consultants to Council, Balfour Beatty, owned Parsons Brinckerhoff when it was produced. If you sense that is was written for the benefit of the infrastructure providers and not the public you may well be correct. Where Council signed the evergreen contract to hire Balfour Beatty in 2013 they were hiring the authors. This conflict of interest continues to impact decisions because the Council is paying the same infrastructure consultant Balfour Beatty to advise and consult on future developments. They wrote the report and now they are executing it through their puppet Council.

2. The report was produced under written instructions from the Council to exclude considerations of detailed engineering OR cost issues, enabling Council to proceed with its core strategy at any cost. This report provided guaranteed ‘blank cheque’ for its future consultants to keep drawing on its cost-plus-contract as designs change and costs escalate. It looks like the global consulting industry, Balfour Beatty, is running rings around the public purse holders. Are you going to let this just continue?

3. In the report it is clearly stated that there was insufficient time to gather or check the environmental data provided by Amey and it was therefore assumed correct. This assumption was shown to be incorrect on the Southern Link Road. The surveys required identifying ancient woodlands, rare habitats and protected species to define the extent and value of its biodiversity were not conducted in time. Key decisions were made on the Southern Link Road without key environmental impact assessments. This practise of decision making with inadequate environmental impact analysis ignoring the detailed planning process has got to be stopped. Council Cabinet will just give you the run-around until it goes to court. Court proceedings cost tax payers money.

4. The report fails to recognise that the road traffic analysis is totally bias towards road building. It fails to recognise the congestion problem is all school and commuter traffic which could be addressed without a bypass and therefore fails to address the key problem with Hereford transport. Wake up to the needs of the current population and get the planners to listen. We need mass transit solutions first.

5. The road capacity and its potential impacts were assessed from the perspective of the City traffic and local commerce, not the future County-wide motorway relief traffic volumes and therefore the traffic modelling needs to be reanalysed using an independent and respected professional body. The results should be explained to the public in plain English.

6. This proposed motorway relief road is clearly not a sustainable development, compared with alternative congestion reducing strategies, when it destroys unique habitat, reduces arable farmlands, results in increasing human health problems plus premature death rates, increases our carbon footprint and diminishes the quality of our lives and our atmosphere by contributing to the rise in global temperatures and oceans. Planning and government box ticking to define this development as sustainable is an exercise in public deception. Wake up to the nonsense that is condoned by the Council.

7. The council needs to better understand the long term costs in terms of human lifestyles, ill-health leading to lower human productivity and loss of productive high quality farmland and natural habitat before proposing such destructive impractical growth plans. This report fails to address the basic elements of its long term high cost to society.

8. The Hereford 2020 business plan is fundamentally flawed in its proposal of developments over commercially important aquifers, on a flood plain North West and upstream of Hereford City. This bias report fails to justify the Councils flawed Core Strategy. The business plan to justify the infrastructure is still only an outline from a commercial perspective. The Council’s attempts to get its infrastructure funding from housing developers has so far failed.

9. The road proposed will need Highways Agency approval to become the new trunk route for all A49 traffic. This approval will require a robust business case as the Highways Agency will ask for the strategic, economic, financial, commercial justification and most importantly is the management fit to manage and deliver it? 
a. The strategic case fails because mass transit would better solve city congestion this road will attract motorway relief traffic and increase congestion.
b. The economic case fails on the poor choice of high cost development sites on a flood plain
c. The financial case is flawed given the deliberately undisclosed high capital and environmental cost
d. The commercial justification a no-brainer your taxes fund global infrastructure builders profits. Growth at any cost will be paid for by the next generation.
e. Can management deliver it? The Council management is not fit to run a bath, is the local saying in Hereford.

10. Considering its track record, we do not believe the due diligence was thorough enough to build a business case for development. We consider the capital budgeting and consultancy arrangements in Herefordshire County Council are inadequate and so are the cost controls. We do not believe that the cost-benefits of the proposals are better than the alternatives.

Patricia Ronan