Wye Ruin It?



Your voices need to be heard!

Hundreds, if not thousands of letters have been written to Herefordshire Council, Local MPs and local civic organisations like Wye Ruin It? in protest against the Bypass and to point out that there are better, faster, cheaper solutions to reduce congestion, regenerate the city and provide affordable housing now. Here are a few examples of what people have written.

Letters to local politicians:

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Dear Cllr. Price,

I cannot believe you have chosen the 'RED Route’ for the projected bypass. The whole bypass project is so totally wrong and this has now added insult to injury.

The bypass itself is in the wrong place, far too close to the City in what, in the future, is going to hold a burgeoning population with expanding borders and the ‘theory’ that this is going to improve the present traffic gridlock in Hereford has effectively been disproved. Your motivation for the bypass - that it will cover in part the costs of housing development in that area plus your own ego (which is evident) is suspect. 

Selecting the RED route is like driving a Route Nationale through the Champs Elysee. Kings Acre road’s approach into Hereford is one of the most attractive features of the County and City’s road complex. With one stroke you are about to ruin it. It really is unbelievable - yet neither you nor the so-called Cabinet are seemingly able to see it.

In 20 years’ time... Conservative Councillors will be wondering how such a short-sighted, costly and inefficient project could ever have been perpetrated by a Conservative council.
— Anonymous, Hereford

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Dear Councillor Price,

I am appalled that the decision to go ahead with the western bypass may be about to be further approved.

 As a life-long Conservative party supporter and former branch secretary, I am shocked by our Herefordshire Council's behaviour over nearly every aspect of this major decision-making process; it can be doing nothing for the council's image and in future may well damage local support for our two Members of Parliament.

My own position will be regarded by many as pure "NIMBYism". That is not so. I think I'm a reasonable, thinking individual and I truly believe:

1. The case for any bypass - east or west - has not been made; it flies in the face of so much evidence.

2. Both western or and eastern routes would be environmentally damaging.

3. Together with with new housing developments of up to 7,000+ homes, a single lane bypass and existing congestion on Roman Road, it is obvious that many more people will struggle to access the city centre.  Therefore, the proposed bypass (like many others) will not cope.  Congestion and pollution will increase. 

4. Development of the Rotherwas Industrial Estate will need good access to the east and north east, the railway station and housing estates to the north and north west of the city. A western bypass will do nothing to assist this; an eastern one might. There must be better solutions and you should investigate these with much more enthusiasm and better consultants.

5. It would be naive to embark on the western bypass scheme, based on cost estimates that many intelligent people can see as being unrealistic.  Since the eventual construction will probably have to involve a dual carriageway roadway, the cost estimate becomes even more unreal.

6. Vandalism is the wanton destruction of something of great value. Most cities would give anything to have the countryside beside the Wye - from Wyeside to to its source - as a breathing space for its own citizens and a growing tourist attraction for many others.  In 20 years time, if this project should go ahead, Herefordshire's Conservative Councillors will be wondering how such a short-sighted, costly and inefficient project could ever have been perpetrated by a Conservative council.

I wrote to Bill Wiggin last week and told him that I felt the Council's handling of this whole business had been inept.  There are so many legitimate questions that have been asked and not answered properly...I think you know what those questions are...

Best wishes and thanks for so much that you do do and get right. In my eightieth year, I need you!

Letters to Herefordshire County Council:

anon 1 wri.jpg

Recently the Council resolved to abandon Scrutiny of its Cabinet decisions after they had been taken, and resolved instead to insist on ‘pre-Scrutiny’ of such likely decisions. This has resulted in the absurd situation, as at 17 July 2018, of the General Scrutiny Committee being given less than 24 hours to read what Council Officers assume are the pre-Scrutiny points the Committee needs to consider, arising out of 17 questions from members of the public which, again, the Committee are being given less than 24 hours to consider, before their meeting on 18 July 2018. This indecent haste is occasioned by the Council’s determination to press on with a Bypass proposal, shrouded in a Transport Package blanket, before the start of the summer holidays. The Council’s actions are making a mockery of pre-Scrutiny, and the General Scrutiny Committee should recommend that the old system of reviewing Cabinet decisions after they have been taken should be re-instated immediately. It would save hard-pressed Council Officers an enormous amount of time.

Letters to Wye Ruin It? about the Bypass:

  George Monbiot, Oxford

George Monbiot, Oxford

All power to you in stopping this idiocy. We need integrated, rational transport policies in this country, not ever more road building and environmental destruction.

anon 2 wri.jpg



Hi. I attended some of your meeting at WX School and have to say I found it fascinating - so many independent issues, legacy topics and historical matters that are major elements in their own right but linked to the overall problem of Hereford congestion.
I have lived in Hereford for nearly 22 years and I have to confess I have always believed a bypass would be the correct solution to traffic problems, However, I am now of the opinion that we do not as the congestion is self-inflicted as there are other solutions
I admire everyone’s input with regard to car sharing, use of public transport, cycling, walking etc and acknowledge all avenues have to considered / proposed / utilised as it’s a combined effort. But I have always felt that the British government / councils are far too soft and appeasing when trying to solve major issues so compromises or weak solutions are always employed that only scratch the surface. To make a definitive change for the better requires radical action which at the time causes grief but very quickly the population soon gets accustomed to them and life carries on – take the London congestion charge as an example.
I believe that 2 strands would serve the county (and probably the country!) extremely well:

  1. Alternative access to a defined area of the city, by day or week, to cars with registrations ending with odd or even numbers. I believe Paris already does this and I’m sure there are other cities in the world. It would immediately reduce by 50% cars that can actually access the congested areas of the city (exemptions for some types of vehicle), it would therefore reduce pollution, it would force and encourage in a responsible way commuters to car pool/use public transport/walk/cycle, it would create more business for public and private transport, it would create a new business opportunity in the city on the arterial roads for car parking / car meeting / carpooling areas. To police this I would suggest a team of clampers operate within the city to clamp offending vehiclesPopulation would very quickly adjust and get used to it.
    Congestion problem - solved.
    Business – increased and no impact.

    Cost – a fraction of the cost of a bypass.
  2. Ban HGV lorries on defined roads / areas over rush hour periods.
    Cost – negligible.

I have always believed a bypass would be the correct solution to traffic problems. However, I am now of the opinion that it is not as the congestion is self-inflicted and there are other solutions.
— Anonymous, Hereford

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Dear all,

After going to the shire hall council meeting last week I know now why we are in such a mess, they spent at least 40 minutes self-congratulating themselves on what a great job they have done (even though Councillor Price mentioned to us Hereford needs change or we will die) but it’s the council who are killing Hereford.  

We want a council who listens to its people and are not deaf, someone who acts in the right way and are not arrogant, who brings prosperity to its city and is not selfish – our council does none of these.

We need to get rid of these Flintstones from Bedrock.

Let’s vote Independent party and get rid of these people, bring in a fresh approach.

Excerpts from Facebook comments:

anon 2 wri.jpg

I'm sure that this applies to many, many places in this country.  The 'politicians' are arm-in-arm with the 'contractors' to promote 'development' for mutual profit, at the expense of the people and the land.

This is blatant gangsterism.

Nowadays, the notion of 'growth' is pushed to its maximum, whereas cutting edge research on the matter would suggest that more 'growth' is the last thing we need - consolidation and conservation are what we need in order to ensure an acceptable standard of living for future generations.

Real 'growth' has to be vertical - no longer horizontal.  It is no longer acceptable to simply splurge ever on into the countryside, knocking down who knows what in the name of nothing at all (nothing but a temporary bank boost for the evolutionarily unfit, at least).  Quality has to be improved; not quantity.  We have enough people, enough services, enough infrastructure: the problem is that none of it barring most of the people is actually working.

Real ‘growth’ has to be vertical - no longer horizontal.  It is no longer acceptable to simply splurge ever on into the countryside, knocking down who knows what in the name of nothing at all (nothing but a temporary bank boost for the evolutionarily unfit, at least).
— Anonymous

This is because money is not put into sustaining past projects; it is eternally siphoned into future projects, because 'the future™' is 'where the money is' (according to the people who make money off 'predicting' [that is, engineering] the future).

I have spent large portions of my life travelling this country, through cities and towns, through the wilds, on trains and on buses, on odd adventures that very few people ever seem to have the time to go on.  I've seen a lot of what goes unseen around here, largely because it's not on anyone's trajectory.

What I've seen, by and large, is that we already have everything we need - houses, offices, industrial estates, power plants, recreational facilities, transport infrastructure etc.  The problem is that the bulk of these are dilapidated.  They're out of date.

Rather than being updated - at a fraction of the cost of building new edifices - they're left to rot.  The land becomes unusable; commerce and production halt entirely in those districts; the areas become the residences of criminal gangs before emptying absolutely (nobody wants to deal coke out of a damp, crumbling factory when there's a deserted office block down the road).

What's left is a small ghost town, nestled some five minutes from where you live.  You will likely never see it.  But you will also never see anyone going to work there, using that office space, using that industrial space, using that boarded up mechanic's, restoring that boarded up hospital.  Increasingly these areas are getting to the stage of degradation where they cannot be rebuilt - they are structurally undermined by neglect, meaning they will need to be knocked down before that land can be used.

And yet they're not.  That pub with the boarded up windows is owned by the council.  They won't do anything with it.  They'll just let it sit there.  Not a gentleman's club, not an old folk's home, not a youth centre - just a boarded up old pub (and that probably does have a few junkies lingering around, because it's comfier than the crumbling factory).

Meanwhile hundreds of millions of British tax pounds are going on new developments not fifteen minutes away.

Developments which will also become outdated, dilapidated, and deserted in time.

It is more profitable for politicians and contractors to contract new building developments than it is for them to develop or rehabilitate old buildings.

The development culture in this country (and in most others that I've seen) is utterly crooked, based essentially on a set of loopholes which - as is ever the case in these modern business-states - allow the initiated to make money out of neither work nor (real) investment.

These people make money by contracting buildings.  Before the buildings are finished, they have made their money.  They contract more new buildings before the old new buildings are finished.  Sometimes they give up on building the old new buildings before they're even built - and yet they still make the money.  How is this even remotely possible if this practice is economically salient?

We are removing bricks from the lower levels to build ever higher.  This is a national game of jenga.  Only a few get to play.  Everyone loses when the tower falls - but thank God, we all fall equally to the ground.

Give us a piece of your mind!

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