Wye Ruin It?
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wye ruin it?


When you read Herefordshire Council’s justification for the Bypass, you would be forgiven for believing that it is essential to increase housing, industry and reduce congestion in Hereford, and that people choose to drive rather than use public transport, walk or cycle because it is more convenient and cheaper.  Right?


Our colleagues in Herefordshire Transport Alliance, Hereford Sustainable Transport Group and Rail and Bus for Hereford have been working with us to research some of the best transport solutions for Hereford. We are delighted to know that the Campaign for Rural England and Professor John Whitelegg agree with us too!

Hereford has strong infrastructure that can support how things are delivered in a more environmentally friendly way - less pollution, less noise, less traffic, and faster! Just a little thought and investment could reduce the number of HGVs and delivery vans in our city. Our city needs well thought out regeneration that is good for living, local business and tourism, not to mention our health!

People do not realise that they can save around £2,000 a year if they use public transport rather than drive, and that it would still be cheaper if the council were to provide and subsidise a good public transport network than to build the Bypass!

Yes- that’s right! Public transport is cheaper and better for the economy than a new road.

A good public transport network would also be very much faster to install. It could be done in months, rather than years, and without the years of traffic diversions and jams that we will be subject to with the Bypass.

Below are a few of the solutions that we have found to sort out Hereford's transport for now and the long term future. Click on the pictures for short videos that can help you understand more about these concepts, many of which are already working in cities across the UK and the world. 

Future of Urban Mobility

The Institute for Transport and Development Policy says that in order to increase affordable housing, promote industry and successful business and reduce congestion just follow The 8 Principles for Better Streets and Better Cities

1. WALK | Develop neighbourhoods that promote walking

2. CYCLE | Prioritise non-motorised transport networks

3. CONNECT | Create dense networks of streets and paths

4. TRANSIT | Locate development near high-quality public transport

5. MIX | Plan for mixed use

6. DENSIFY | Optimise density and transit capacity

7. COMPACT | Create regions with short commutes

8. SHIFT | Increase mobility by regulating parking and road use

Photo: Arap

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Connected, Safe Footpaths

The benefits of walking to school and work far outweigh those of being driven. It wakes up the brain, gets the circulation going, gives time for a good chat, a meditate or just a bit of day-dreaming. So, walking is not only physically beneficial, but children who walk to school get better results and have better mental health. Kids know that walking to school is good for them and they want to be able to do so safely, as their parents did before them.

We need footpaths that get us where we need to go, that connect up, are safe to use and pleasant to experience. Not too difficult to achieve in our beautiful city!

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Comprehensive Safe Cycling Infrastructure

Seville has built a comprehensive cycle network in and around the city. This took 2 years and within that time, the number of daily cycling journeys increased from 6,000 to a whopping 70,000! Like Hereford, Seville is also a small city serving a rural environment.

Safe and well thought out cycle lanes can transform the way people go to work and school. When they are available, there is no doubt that people use them. London is another great example of how people will change their transport of choice for something that is healthier, cheaper and often quicker. Over 200 big businesses in London have voiced their support for their employees to be able to cycle to work safely.

Worried about rain or safety on a bike? Things aren't as bad as you think and it is still better than driving be a country mile!

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Smart Apps

MVMANT uses smart app technology and taxi services already in existence to maximise the number of passengers in every vehicle to reduce congestion and the number of cars on the road as well as parked. This is in use in several European cities already. It is proving really successful for both individual passengers and businesses around the city.

MVANT is a free app for business and individuals to reduce congestion and cost when organising travel.

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Electric Buses

Electric buses are becoming common place in China and Europe and are now in cities like London and York. The long term running costs are much lower because the fuel and maintenance costs are so much smaller. An ideal solution for free school buses and commuters, as well as those late night and early morning travellers on short city hops, which is what over 80% of our journeys are in Hereford.

Battery technology is getting better and better for charging electric buses, with flash charging now available in France.

York has spend £3million on Electric Buses to reduce congestion, pollution and long term running cost.

Photo: Derek McCreadie, York City Council, Step Conference 2016

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Driverless Buses & Cars

Autonomous cars, taxis and buses are already here, tested and will soon be commonly available. In fact, many cities all around the world are using them for daily commuting and tourism already.

These driverless vehicles can respond to demand and run at a very low cost. They will not only be able to maximise the number of passengers per vehicle, they will be able to respond in real time to where and when people need to be picked up and dropped off, as well as having the possibility to bypass traffic jams. Great news – not to mention that they will be electric! This type of technology is ideal for a city serving a rural environment, where public transport needs to be responsive to people who need to travel to and from a wide geographical area at all times of day and night.

Driverless buses can be small or big. Small buses mean that new road infrastructure are not needed and lots of small buses can be used day and night on demand.

Photo: Olli - Local Motors

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Overhead Cable Cars

An overhead cable car could be built for around £35million, which is relatively low cost, and with minimum disruption or infrastructure requirements. This would be a tourist attraction for Hereford as well as a safe, quick and practical way to ferry commuters to school and work. Three cable cars could be constructed for half the price of the Bypass! Mexico city has really benefited from this. The cable cars there took only a short time to build, had minimal impact on the local environment and they are really popular with everyone as they are safe and cheap to use and run.

Mexico city (left) has put in overhead cable cars to reduce congestion, get people to work faster and more safely.

Photo: LEITNER ropeways

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Electric Lightweight Trams

There is already infrastructure in Hereford to facilitate the construction of modern electric trams to get people over the river and around the city, with the minimum noise and pollution and the maximum efficiency. Modern technology means that trams could be installed with minimal cost, disruption and infrastructure needs in a short space of time. The French and Germans have been investing in Trams for over 15 years now and with some fantastic results – including moving goods/freight around the city. Great for commuters, great for business, great for tourism!

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Pollution Charges

The new Toxicity Charge in London is making a big impact on how people travel to work. In tandem with the Congestion Charge and the new Toxicity Charge, more buses, cleaner buses, safe cycle routes and pedestrian routes have been expanded to ensure that people can choose other transport options. The good news is that this approach is working and children in London are beginning to benefit from cleaner air.

Photo: Transport for London

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There is train station in Hereford, but it is underused and train lines exist that could be used and are not, such as one to Three Elms and one to Holme Lacey.

Many people are forced to drive rather than take the train into and out of Hereford because existing services are not frequent enough and do not have enough capacity, especially at rush hour. Many people who could travel by train, do not because of these reasons.

Increasing the number of and frequency of services and re-opening old lines would enable more people to travel in and out of the city by train instead of car, particularly from places like Worcester and Newport. This would shorten their journey, reduce the stress, give them exercise and increase travel safety. Anyone travelling to Worcester by car regularly knows how treacherous that road is, especially in winter!

Re-opening old lines improves the economy, supports growth and good health, supports city centre freight delivery and reduces congestion.

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Goods and Freight

Big companies in the UK, like Sainsbury's, are coming over to the idea that delivering in urban areas needs to be more environmentally friendly and are now testing electric bicycle deliveries with the intention of rolling these out across the country.

In Europe, trams are used to deliver freight within cities. Cafes, supermarkets and other stores can send and collect their goods in large quantities on passenger trams.

Rail is one of the more efficient ways of transferring freight and is becoming more popular, especially from major cities, industrial sectors and ports.

Hereford has a good rail freight infrastructure. It is situated at Moreton on Lugg next to the industrial estate. Trains have access to the national network from here, so freight can travel right across the country in almost any direction. Improved signalling on the line would improve capacity and enable expansion of local industry and increased use of the line for the transportation of freight. This would reduce the need for road transport.

Photo: Sainsbury's

Click here for more key facts about cycling

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