Preferred route chosen for controversial bypass

A preferred route has been chosen for the controversial Hereford western bypass.

Herefordshire Council officers have recommended the £129m ‘red route’ which would cross Kings Acre Road near the Bay Horse Inn.

Five houses will need to be demolished to make way for the road and a further four may have their gardens reduced.

The proposed route is one of seven announced earlier this year and would run between Warham Farm and Warham House and cross the River Wye close to Dorchester Way in Belmont, linking Rotherwas with the A49 north of the city.

The council’s cabinet member for infrastructure said the bypass is “key to promoting growth”.

Cllr Philip Price said: “Herefordshire Council has had aspirations to deliver a bypass for Hereford for decades, and the project is now beginning to take shape. The bypass will be key to promoting growth and active travel in South Wye and across the city. It will boost Herefordshire’s economy by allowing greater access to Hereford Enterprise Zone, as well as improving journey time and quality through reduced traffic congestion and delays. The scheme will also help to promote health and wellbeing in Hereford, addressing traffic emissions and noise, reducing accidents and encouraging physical wellbeing through active travel.

“The technical work has shown that the Red Route is more appropriate than the alternative routes when considering environmental factors and minimising the impact on people and residences throughout the core strategy corridor.

“We are now letting people know about the next steps to keep local residents and businesses fully updated and involved with progress on the Hereford Transport Package, which will have huge strategic value for the whole county.”

However, Independent group leader Cllr Bob Matthews believes the red route was “totally unacceptable” due to its proximity to the Grade II listed Belmont Abbey.

The Hereford Transport Package, which includes the proposed routes, will be considered by the council’s cabinet on July 27.

Work could start next year, or in 2020, with the bypass opening in 2022.

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