Wye Ruin It?

Wye Ruin It?


Herefordshire Council just published the proposed routes of the Bypass

The documents are available online here:


Council will hold a public meeting of 18 January at 2pm at the Shirehall to discuss the results of last year’s inadequate public consultation.

Council will hold a public meeting of 18 January at 2pm at the Shirehall to discuss the results of last year’s inadequate public consultation.

Your questions to council must be submitted before 5pm next Monday January 15th 2018.

Even if you can't turn up, ask a question if possible. If you can't ask a question, turn up if you can at all. We have to make ourselves heard as loudly as possible!

Here are a few suggestions:


1.       CABINET MEETING 18th 2pm, 2018, Council announces routes of proposed Hereford Western Relief Road - known as 'The Bypass'.

1.1.   How can the proposal to accept unquantified motorway relief traffic (from the M5/M6) along the unsuitable A49, and along a city bypass upwind of proposed housing estates, be considered sustainable development?

1.2.   Council has been asked on numerous occasions what level of motorway relief traffic would use the Hereford bypass, and responded saying it would be modelled as the project is developed. Data is available so why has this modelling not been done?

1.3.   In the route options report by Amey it was noted that between 300 and 600 houses would be affected by adverse noise from the proposed routes. Parsons Brinckerhoff report July 2011 page 11 para 2.4.11. states that pollution alongside the selected route in relation to residential properties should be considered to be of only minor significance. Can the Council assure residents that it will make a full and updated assessment of the housing numbers and of the air quality and pollution haloes that would result from the increase in HGV usage as motorway relief traffic levels rise, and provide projections for these impacts?

1.4.   Will the public receive a full analysis of the environmental impact of the proposed new road on the proposed new housing estates, with reference to the threats to human health from fine particulate pollution based on a traffic model updated for motorway relief traffic?

1.5.   Technical Consultants Amey repeatedly stated in its Stage 1 assessment and its Options Study reports that there was insufficient traffic data available to make a quantative assessment of impacts. How will the Council reassure the public that motorway relief traffic and new housing traffic impacts will be professionally assessed when it failed to monitor existing traffic levels for the last ten years?

1.6.   We note that the SATURN traffic models produced in 2009 for the main corridors were not utilised in the Amey Options Study. Will the analysis of potential increase traffic from a 26% increase in city households and the M5/M6 Motorway relief be incorporated into the existing SATURN traffic models and published as part of a professional analysis?

1.7.   What baseline air-quality and water-quality studies have been done and over what period in the two flood plains where development is proposed first over the Wye Valley Flood Zone and second over the Yazor Brook Flood Zone?

1.8.   Will the proposed bridge crossing the River Wye SSSI/SAC on the western relief road have any footings in the 300m flood plain or will they be, on higher ground away from the flood plain?

1.9.   Given that during the initial Stage 1 analysis and reporting Council’s consultants failed to identify the importance of Hereford’s underground aquifers to its major industries before the Core Strategy was developed can the Council now provide a map of all the Source Protection Zones (SPZ) for all abstraction points within and adjacent to the Strategic Core Development sites of roads and houses?

1.10.                     Will the Contractors or the Council need a Flood Plain Exception Test to build the bridge crossing over the River Wye SSSI/SAC site?

1.11.                     How can the public make an informed decision on routes when you have not provided a full picture of the proposed development’s impact on traffic, pollution, human health and its cost-benefits?

1.12.                     Is the Council concerned to understand the hydrogeology in relation to the decisions on housing development sites and route options for the proposed road, and that Cargill, Heineken and other employers may leave Hereford due to water supply issues?

1.13.                     What consideration was given to the location of roads west of proposed and existing dense urban conurbations, given the prevailing wind direction, and to the growing scientific evidence of the impact of fine particulate emissions on life expectancy, physical and mental health?

1.14.                     The Council has lost the confidence of the public over inadequate capital cost controls and poorly executed developments. Why would the proposed bypass be any different in terms of budget controls, a design fit for purpose and the Council’s ability to deliver this project on budget?

1.15.                     Reams of data produced by the SATURN traffic modelling are used to justify the introduction and timing of the road development plan but none have any mass transit solutions incorporated to reduce the single purpose journeys like school trips and commuters. Why not?

1.16.                     Public mass transit systems for cities are required to meet certain investment returns to justify construction but rarely do so for medium sized towns. Often the required investment capital does not generate enough financial benefit when analysed under the current planning rules. Why then are roads being constructed without including the full environmental costs associated including healthcare, loss of habitat and biodiversity, CO2 emissions and climate change, absent from many sustainable mass transit options?

1.17.                It is stated on page 26 para 5.2 of the Hereford Transport Strategy Phasing Study that the western section of the bypass is primarily designed to make the Three Elms housing site more attractive to investors. Is there any limit to the capital that will be allocated from government funds to enable the inappropriate development on a flood zone, and over an important aquifer in a Special Protection Zone?

1.18.                The value for money criteria base on CO2 analysis is inadequate when the full impact of M5 and M6 motorway relief traffic over the long term is excluded from the data modelled. Can the council confirm that the increase in motorway relief traffic using the A49 and the resultant pollution will be included in all future TUBA analysis?

1.19.                The reliability tests for the proposed road on contribution towards journey time reliability and capacity of transport links, analysis using the Hereford Saturn model has indicated journey time will increase 8% by 2032. This SATURN model clearly excludes effects of the Motorway relief traffic and is therefore inaccurate and misleading. How does the Council propose to address this misleading analysis?

1.20.                Must the public accept the misleading traffic user benefit analysis (TUBA) results based on inaccurate traffic modelling and inadequate financial tools just because it is generated in accord with planning policy and current guidelines, or will the Council have the good sense to question these results using informed and independent analysis?

Patricia Ronan