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Frank Smith

HA-Herefordshire Council On Own Over Western Bypass

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I know the Council have a bad reputation but to imply as Here for Hereford do that the Highways Agency are the paragons of truth and integrity is taking it a bit far in my view! Their left and rights hands are even further apart than the Council's - if that is possible.

If Here for Hereford want support then they have to come out and say exactly who they are (no mention on their website) and what their aims are. I suspect that they are an anti development anti bypass group but that is just a guess on what I heave read.

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Tony Johnson must be very relieved that the debate has diverted onto the nature and identity of "Here for Hereford" the ins and outs of building bypasses, and the performance of the Highways Agency.

 

The focus should be on a Council "Leader" misleading the public in a radio interview.  He should be asked why he did it, what information he was using and would he now apologise and explain the true situation.   The HT only managed to get a bit of vague council speak waffle from Philip Price - not any detailed response to detailed questions.

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OK but that depends on whether, as I noted before, the Highways Agency are telling the truth. They always do don't they!

I am not defending the Council just raising the question.

In any event HFH hardly matter in the bigger picture

What frustrates me is that in this County it takes just so long for things to happen. For how many years have people requested a by pass. The Council want a by pass. Either build it or forget it.

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If the Highways agency were not telling the truth and Johnson was telling the truth, then don't you think that message would be issued loud and clear by Johnson rather than him sending out Philips to make a vague statement.  Also, the HA seems to have given detailed written answers to HfH's written questions. 

 

Having had personal experience of HCC lying I know who I would believe.

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Rupert Anton is the founder of sapiens communications based in puddlestone Leominster…so if you want to know anything about carpets he's your man??… Confused? So was I!! thought he was something to do with phones when I first saw the companies name?! Not that I'm going to hold that against him thou!!

But i would like to know more about his organisation as this is the first time I've heard of them??

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The Here for Hereford website is awesome! Really worth having a look at other stuff there. They have drilled down into loads of Council docs to show us the weaselly Council words that don’t actually stack up. Well done for showing us what’s not true, and that the Highways Agency don't support building a western relief road.

 

Take the blinkers off folks. Although a western by-pass sounds like it will sort Hereford out, there’s no money for it unless property developers are allowed to profit from it. Thousands of new homes may result in some sort of by-pass with loads of roundabouts connecting the housing estates, but that wouldn't be a new fast A49 that people expect. And all those new people living in the new homes would surely drive in and out of Hereford making the centre worse than ever. Isn’t that a very bad deal for all Herefordian residents, whatever side of Hereford they live?

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Interesting he makes some good points although the cost of £20 million for doing a eastern bypass? I'd have to question that amount as I would expect it to cost far more than that? Given that figures are not Hereford councils strong point?

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Appendix 2 
 
MEMBERS’ QUESTIONS TO COUNCIL – 07 MARCH 2014 
 
Question from Councillor RI Matthews of Councillor AW Johnson, Leader of the Council 
 
Construction of a New Access Road 
 
Question 5: It is my understanding that both of our local Conservative MPs, and a large number of top businessmen together with the board members of the local Enterprise Zone support the construction of a new access road from the main A438 Hereford/Ledbury Road at Tupsley into the Rotherwas Industrial Estate. All of these people are of the view that the industrial estate will not succeed and operate to its full capacity until such a road is in place. 
 
Because of the overwhelming support for this road from such influential people, can you assure Members that their concerns will be addressed before the Local Development Framework is any further progressed? 
fter all, it must be remembered that your administration is without any overall majority, and therefore I suggest that it would be undemocratic were you not to give this matter your every consideration. 
 
Answer from Councillor PD Price, Cabinet Member Infrastructure 
 
Answer to question 5 
I don’t share Cllr Matthews’ understanding. I am of course aware that there are a range of views on this matter, influenced by a number of factors, but would wish to focus on the evidence. 
 
Extending the road network to the east of the city in advance of a relief road which can only be delivered through a western route, would not only displace traffic to more residential areas, it would not enable the housing growth this county needs. 
 
I would also remind Cllr Matthews that the draft Core Strategy was approved by Council in July 2013 for submission; this included a relief road to the west and did not include a Rotherwas to Ledbury Road link. There is no authority to include it at this stage and further delay to debate the matter, in the absence of any new evidence to support the case for a link road in advance of a relief road, would have a significantly negative impact on the future economy of the county. 
 
Supplementary Question 
It would appear to me that any inspector considering our Core Strategy would be deeply concerned when he becomes aware of the views of our local MPs and others. Does the Leader agree with me that this could well be the case, and consequently result in a negative response to the Council’s proposals? 
 
Response: Councillor Johnson, Leader of the Council 
The Leader acknowledged the reservations people had about where the road was proposed, but reiterated that residents wanted a bypass. Council priorities included future economic development, which a bypass was an important part of. Hard evidence showed the road should go west and MPs were now looking at this evidence. It was noted that any road built going east on a flood plain would not be able to have homes included with it. Additionally any expansion of Rotherwas could not be carried out without access improvements. The Leader emphasised the importance of not missing the opportunity, which would bring with it homes and jobs for the County. However this did not preclude any future road building which might subsequently be built going east. 

 

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