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Emergency Vehicles Struggle In Hereford Traffic


Colin James
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roundabout at 0720 this morning

 

 

Jesus Christ!

 

I've always maintained that we should get the opinion of the emergency services and see what their views on Hereford's traffic are.

 

It's for the exact reason posted in your images Colin, that I no longer shop in Hereford and strategically - very strategically - plan where I go and at what time. I only go up Belmont road after 8pm, going before is just suicide. My window for heading to anything on the North of Hereford was 11am-Midday. Anything either side of that and coming back South makes it just not worth it.

 

It's a smaller window than a NASA launch. And when I do go out, it takes some tactical driving to get through, I have some very specific lane switches that help me get to where I'm going within the hour.

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I went to shop at Tesco Belmont, I left at about 1205hrs and reached St Martins Street at 1235hrs, :Cha ching: apparently a lorry had broken down going north over the new bridge and blocked the nearside I lane near to the junction with Barton Road, I'm glad that I retired from the Police Force as it must be hell for the services trying to achieve the target response times set by the government , surely its time that our crime commissioner got stuck in to the government, its just another reason why we need to complain.

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I opened my curtains this morning at 7am only to see the traffic building up outside my door, it comes to something when the traffic fills half the roads on the estate trying to get onto the Belmont road.

I used to overtake all the rat runners down by Oval when I lived on the farm.Always said there should be an access only sign down Southolme Rd

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I used to overtake all the rat runners down by Oval when I lived on the farm.Always said there should be an access only sign down Southolme Rd

 

See I disagree, the people who use rat runs are normally local and if this in turn relieves traffic, even just a little bit from the main then so what! But no what did the council do with Springfield Ave, oh yes, they made it one way and guess what happened then? You got it, those few cars end up back on the Belmont Rd, how clever.  :Angry:

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And they want to build a possible 89 houses at Peterchurch/185 houses  at Kingstone/there's a hint there is a PA lurking at Madley for 90 houses and then there is it 89 at Belmont  a quick calculation is a total of 453 houses could be at least the same number of cars trying to get into Hereford each morning - oh please.   

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And they want to build a possible 89 houses at Peterchurch/185 houses  at Kingstone/there's a hint there is a PA lurking at Madley for 90 houses and then there is it 89 at Belmont  a quick calculation is a total of 453 houses could be at least the same number of cars trying to get into Hereford each morning - oh please.   

 

The council and HA should address the road problems in and around Hereford instead of objecting to more housing which is desperately needed!

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Colin

I wonder how many of those cars had only one occupant. There is a perfectly good cycle/footpath into town from Belmont. Yes I know it won't suit everyone and I know it might not go to the front door of where you want to shop or work but if we are going to solve the traffic congestion we must look at the alternatives. Today the new pedestrian/cycle route bridge link to Rotherwas from Hampton Park was opened - if you live in Tupsley and work in Rotherwas it is a godsend. That should take some cars away from the roads.

But ponder on this - if you vote for Its Our County then there will be no by pass and you will have to get used to walking or cycling or bus. So you may as well start now

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Colin

I wonder how many of those cars had only one occupant. There is a perfectly good cycle/footpath into town from Belmont. Yes I know it won't suit everyone and I know it might not go to the front door of where you want to shop or work but if we are going to solve the traffic congestion we must look at the alternatives. Today the new pedestrian/cycle route bridge link to Rotherwas from Hampton Park was opened - if you live in Tupsley and work in Rotherwas it is a godsend. That should take some cars away from the roads.

But ponder on this - if you vote for Its Our County then there will be no by pass and you will have to get used to walking or cycling or bus. So you may as well start now

 

Are you sure that this is the IOC's policy to have no bypass and walk and cycle everywhere? if it is they will not have my vote, we are desperate for a bypass or another bridge, I am in favour of an eastern bypass personally.

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Having been a victim of the Belmont Road traffic for more years than I care to remember and observing other drivers the one thing that really clogs the traffic up are those drivers who think they are above sitting in traffic and shoot up at the Tesco roundabout and drop down either opposite Macdonalds or just past the Oval.  People who have been sat in the traffic in Belmont Road being mostly courteous then stop and allow these drivers into the flow of traffic.  There should be no right turn at certain times of the day. Because of time restraints I now travel the Bridge Sollars road.  To those of you who do not know this stretch of road at peak times of the day this is an evil stretch of  road and as the weather worsens I will then have to revert to the Belmont Road option ugh.  Yes of course houses are needed but in the right place and not to exacerbate an already bad traffic situation.

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Having been a victim of the Belmont Road traffic for more years than I care to remember and observing other drivers the one thing that really clogs the traffic up are those drivers who think they are above sitting in traffic and shoot up at the Tesco roundabout and drop down either opposite Macdonalds or just past the Oval.  People who have been sat in the traffic in Belmont Road being mostly courteous then stop and allow these drivers into the flow of traffic.  There should be no right turn at certain times of the day. Because of time restraints I now travel the Bridge Sollars road.  To those of you who do not know this stretch of road at peak times of the day this is an evil stretch of  road and as the weather worsens I will then have to revert to the Belmont Road option ugh.  Yes of course houses are needed but in the right place and not to exacerbate an already bad traffic situation.

 

Denise, believe me those people that you refer to do not get into town any quicker, if anything, going through Newton Farm and the Oval often takes longer but I agree with Victor, if this takes some of the congestion away from the main road then let them carry on, 'be careful what you wish for' because if they do put a no right turn in place and close these small rat runs your queue on the main road all of a sudden becomes a lot longer and certainly much worse!

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(the bridge) That should take some cars away from the roads.

 

 

It will do, but not a great deal I imagine until about 6 months from now. Unless you're a very keen cyclist, the weather this time of year is very off putting. I cycle when I can, but that tends to be more in the brighter/warmer months.

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Let me be very clear about the priority that is needed for Hereford's road network - congestion reduction is absolutely essential if we are to get the traffic moving.  To deliver a by-pass will take a minimum of 20-30 years at a cost of hundreds of millions of pounds. The by-pass would facilitate 15% of the current traffic on the new bridge that is through traffic - the remaining 85% of the traffic would still remain.  What is more to deliver the by-pass, Herefordshire as a whole would need to build an absolute minimum of 16,500 houses (IOC believes that this figure would need to be well over 25,000 houses in reality) with at least 40% of these houses in and around Hereford City.  Let's be clear, the houses would come first and so would their cars.  And guess what? They would all be driving into Hereford too! So the houses that are needed to deliver a by-pass are the reason the by pass will not relieve the congestion experienced on a daily basis - and it would take decades to do it with a deteriorating congestion problem during that period.

 

There is no easy answer. The mantra of "let's build a by-pass" actually distracts from the real problem.

 

45% of the vehicles EVERY morning and EVERY evening are travelling less than 2 miles.  They start their journeys in Hereford and they end their journeys in Hereford - and at the moment who can blame them? Walking and cycling around Hereford every day is depressing!!!! The public realm is depressing! Pedestrians and cyclists are treated like second class citizens - shunted around huge junctions that have been designed ONLY for vehicles. The trees that might make things look a bit better are all being cut down and the routes don't connect with anything. No one has prioritised safer routes to school to maximise the chances that children can get there safely without the use of a car. An integrated transport system would tackle this problem at a tenth of the cost of a by-pass and would not necessitate us building vast numbers of houses for people from the south east to come and retire to (because in reality that is what will happen if we go down that route). 

 

This policy is NOT about saying cycle in from Kingstone! That would just be silly! It is about making options other than car use safe, clean, easy and quick to use for all of those journeys that can be done in 10-15 minutes and creating a culture where people are happy to chose to do it that way. Plenty of towns do it, we just need to focus our extremely limited resources in the right way.

 

And to all of those who insist that a by-pass will work for them, I suggest you will reach retirement age before it is delivered. 

 

Sorry - plain speaking from a plain speaking councillor.  :Happy_32:

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Let me be very clear about the priority that is needed for Hereford's road network - congestion reduction is absolutely essential if we are to get the traffic moving.  To deliver a by-pass will take a minimum of 20-30 years at a cost of hundreds of millions of pounds. The by-pass would facilitate 15% of the current traffic on the new bridge that is through traffic - the remaining 85% of the traffic would still remain.  What is more to deliver the by-pass, Herefordshire as a whole would need to build an absolute minimum of 16,500 houses (IOC believes that this figure would need to be well over 25,000 houses in reality) with at least 40% of these houses in and around Hereford City.  Let's be clear, the houses would come first and so would their cars.  And guess what? They would all be driving into Hereford too! So the houses that are needed to deliver a by-pass are the reason the by pass will not relieve the congestion experienced on a daily basis - and it would take decades to do it with a deteriorating congestion problem during that period.

 

There is no easy answer. The mantra of "let's build a by-pass" actually distracts from the real problem.

 

45% of the vehicles EVERY morning and EVERY evening are travelling less than 2 miles.  They start their journeys in Hereford and they end their journeys in Hereford - and at the moment who can blame them? Walking and cycling around Hereford every day is depressing!!!! The public realm is depressing! Pedestrians and cyclists are treated like second class citizens - shunted around huge junctions that have been designed ONLY for vehicles. The trees that might make things look a bit better are all being cut down and the routes don't connect with anything. No one has prioritised safer routes to school to maximise the chances that children can get there safely without the use of a car. An integrated transport system would tackle this problem at a tenth of the cost of a by-pass and would not necessitate us building vast numbers of houses for people from the south east to come and retire to (because in reality that is what will happen if we go down that route). 

 

This policy is NOT about saying cycle in from Kingstone! That would just be silly! It is about making options other than car use safe, clean, easy and quick to use for all of those journeys that can be done in 10-15 minutes and creating a culture where people are happy to chose to do it that way. Plenty of towns do it, we just need to focus our extremely limited resources in the right way.

 

And to all of those who insist that a by-pass will work for them, I suggest you will reach retirement age before it is delivered. 

 

Sorry - plain speaking from a plain speaking councillor.  :Happy_32:

 

I for one Mark do not agree with those figures, I would suggest that the trough traffic is much much higher and has merely been dressed up this way. These figures are based on traffic coming from Cardiff to Manchester or Newport to Warrington, that's your 15%!

Lets have some real numbers here! So what about all the people driving from Kingstone to Leominster or Holme Lacy to Bromyard or Clehonger to Ledbury this also forms what is considered through traffic. 

 

I live in Belmont and deliver goods all over the midlands, I drop my wife at the college everyday then drive out of town, so really, I am also through traffic too.We are in desperate need of more houses and although you are suggesting that funding would come from the private sector for a bypass in the way of more houses, money should also come from central government for bypass and I would be in favour of an eastern bypass. 16000 house is far to high but I think a much lower number would be acceptable and would help towards the cost. We really do need another river crossing too!

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I totally agree with what Mark is saying. It has become clear that it is not possible to fund any sort of by-pass without it being provided as part of extensive housing developments. As he says, the housing would have to come first, with all those extra cars driving in and out of Hereford. The so-called "by-pass" would be planned as a single carriage-way road through the new housing estates (no chance of a dual carriageway type of by-pass, not like the Rotherwas road) and might never even get joined up around Hereford. The developers would be very happy, and the owners of new homes might be happy, but many of the rest of us would be in absolute despair.

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Sorry Alex - council figures are what I was quoting (and they are desperate to prove the case for their politicking) the breakdown is as follows:

 

45% internal traffic

15% through traffic

remaining 40% is either IN to Hereford or OUT of Hereford (figures here vary from morning to evening).  This means people driving from outside of Hereford  IN to the town or starting their journey in Hereford and driving OUT of town.

 

For your information you would have been designated as an "out of Hereford" driver.

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What Mark is saying to all of you in plain English is IOC would never support the idea of Hereford having a by-pass

I don't read it like that ragwert. I think he seems to be saying that the traffic system is Hereford needs to be sorted out sensibly and innovatively first, dragging ourselves into the 21st Century before we allow huge house building outfits to carve up Grade 1 farming land in exchange for a Western bypass. Building a bypass in return for allowing 16,500 homes into the city or it's boundaries does not make sense. Surely the effect of such a surge of house building will negate any benefits of a by pass.

I personally think we should trial a Lights Out system in Hereford, first along the A49 corridor and then possibly other sites in the city if successful. If that fails to improve things I think I'd be inclined towards an Eastern by pass like most Herefordians are (including our MP). Except those of course who sit in the Cabinet.

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Ragwert don't put words into my mouth I'm quite capable of doing that for myself! I said the REAL priority NOW is congestion reduction to make our roads work better. Very interested in the lights out idea, but remember there is NO golden bullet to solve our traffic problems in Hereford. The lights out idea will only ever be part of an answer. We know the by-pass wont work - the council's own research proves that. Let's get on with the things that WILL work and stop pretending a by pass is the only thing we can do.

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 To deliver a by-pass will take a minimum of 20-30 years at a cost of hundreds of millions of pounds

 

 

And yet in the 1800's (oh look there's that number again), the americans were building vast railroads across the country. You might be familiar with this - but the navvies over there developed a systematic approach which meant that they could lay railway track at WALKING pace.

 

Around 1873 the Canadians started to develope the idea of a railway. In circa 1881 work began on the Canadian Pacific Railway.

 

In 1886, the first train left Montreal to arrive in Port Moody... some 2,826 MILES AWAY.

 

5 years, and they laid a fully functioning railroad track that stretch 2,800 MILES. And you're telling us it would take 20-30 years to build a road that was about 20 miles long?

 

 

Let me be very clear about the priority that is needed for Hereford's road network - congestion reduction is absolutely essential if we are to get the traffic moving. 

 

 

I don't really give two sh!ts about Herefords road network - as long as I can get OUT, that's all that matters. And, quite frankly, the ratio of time/distance often leaves me spending more time trying to get out than actually on the road to where I'm going.

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I am not asking this to be awkward -I honestly would like to know.

( I walk/cycle just about everywhere locally, come wind ,rain, sleet or snow! and would welcome it being a lot safer!)

The bypass issue, I don't pretend to understand all the figures relating to the movement of traffic, in coming, through, etc. but obviously folk with a much bigger brain than mine have determined this.

I'm not arguing with the numbers - just the logic, as in how come Leominster has got one?? And Ledbury?? And Ross??

Surely they don't have as much traffic as Hereford??

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I can see that many people might feel deprived of a by-pass here while other towns do have them. And it's a logical solution, until you look at all the issues together,  - including geography, natural history, land ownership, politics, and of course lack of funding opportunities.

 

Any plan for a by-pass, east or west, has the awkward problem of crossing the River Wye. In the west it would need to be expensively high level as the River Wye has steep sides over there, probably with a cutting through a hill on the way,  - while on the east, although the land is lower there is the problem of getting round the Lugg meadows. Throw in the fact that the whole River Wye is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and that there are unique habitats for plants and animals that have, or deserve, protection all around Hereford.   Then add the fact that large-scale building on Grade 1 and 2 agricultural land should not be allowed. It is almost all high grade around Hereford, especially on the west, unlike most parts of the whole country, so with more people to feed and uncertain climate this land could be critical for the future.

 

Finally throw in the computer models of traffic flow that suggest that huge investment on a by-pass would not have the expected benefits. The models show that much of the traffic counted at any point in Hereford is travelling in or out rather than through the middle.  The model predictions also suggest that a by-pass would result in greater fuel use on a longer route than through the middle, but not significant saving of time.  A dual-carriageway option is not affordable now, and the best that could be done would be a single carriageway road built piece by piece through new housing estates.

 

This plan for the “western relief road†is still in the Council’s Core Strategy Plan, but many people oppose it, for reasons outlined above. Instead there is a lot that can be done with much less investment to ease traffic flow through the middle of Hereford for all users, -  that is for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

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The models show that much of the traffic counted at any point in Hereford is travelling in or out rather than through the middle.

 

 

 

Yet when the huge diversion was in place several months ago we saw a DRASTIC drop in traffic and many of us were aware of companies around and out of Hereford being told to avoid it. The 15% through traffic does not tally with what we see on a day to day basis. For example, school holidays only see a very small decrease in traffic, so if all the parents are off the road during half term, where is all the sustain traffic coming from?

 

Best place for a by pass is West. Simply because we have the M5 to the East which helps traffic going from Birmingham/Manchester down to Newport/Bristol and potentially Cardiff.

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