There was an excellent turnout today at Shire Hall to oppose the Bypass. Protesters on Bicycles rode from the train station to join those on foot and lay on the ground to emphasise the number of deaths that will occur as a result of this travesty. 27 people asked questions at the Council Cabinet meeting. Most questions were inadequately answered with the result that the meeting was continually interrupted with heckles from the public. The Council Leader was visibly shaken by the level protest. At least one member of the cabinet was seen to laugh at the issues raised by the public. The lead for transport planning, Cllr Price, could answer no question specifically and relied heavily on a consultant from Balfour to answer questions that were addressed to him. Cllr Price appeared oblivious to the fact that he is supposed to represent the people of the county and instead described his job as one of ensuring that processes are followed. He openly admitted that he has no expertise in transport planning. The representative from Balfour Beatty refused to admit his conflict of interest when answering questions and that the decision today will result in Balfour Beatty and its subsidiaries securing an extra £2.96M of consultancy work from Herefordshire Council.
When asked about traffic modelling to show expected increase journey times across the city of Hereford, or any journey times, it was clear that this work has not been carried out and both the Council and Balfour Beatty are, at best, guessing how traffic will move as a result of the Bypass.
Another scandalous revelation was the fact that the Bypass will be driven straight through the middle of our Heritage Apple and Pear Orchard, potentially destroying many ancient and treasured rare types of apples and pears. Ironically, the logo of Herefordshire Council contains an Apple! We have also learned that the council now plans to build a dual carriageway instead, which massively increases the negative impact of the road on our environment and our health.
To hear more, tune into BBC Herefordshire and Worcester this evening at 5pm.
If you haven’t signed the petition on Change.org yet, now is the time. If you have, please encourage others to sign it as soon as possible. We really need to muster all the public opposition we can! Here’s the link: https://www.change.org/p/petitions-herefordshire-gov-uk-stop-hereford-council-s-bypass-cf06222d-09b5-46a9-bdde-e93db7731b47