Road campaigners: People are right behind us
11th September 2019
Herefordshire’s bypass campaigners have been overwhelmed by supportive messages after they invited the public to back their cause.
Business leaders launched a crowd-funded campaign last month after Herefordshire Council called an overnight halt to long-developed plans for a bypass, which would relieve traffic congestion in Hereford itself and improve access to key areas of the wider region.
Now the scheme is under review after years of planning and negotiation. Herefordshire Business Board fears the opportunities which the bypass would bring will be lost forever – together with tens of millions of pounds in Government investment.
A series of advertisements has invited the public to give the board their views and now messages received have demonstrated overwhelming backing for the scheme to go ahead.
Comments ranged from a simple “Yes to bypass: this rethink is a disgrace!” to “This has dragged on for far too long – I implore you to get this sorted to enable business growth and security.”
One supporter said: “I have lived in Herefordshire for 50 years and still waiting for the bypass. Sadly I do not come into the city of Hereford any more due to traffic and delays so shop elsewhere.”
Another gave this more-detailed analysis: “It has taken 30 or so years for our council to agree that a bypass for Hereford is necessary, during which time the minutia of every possible pro and con must have been debated time and again, to a point where the Council has expended approximately £10 million on preliminary work, only to have second thoughts and the possibility of the project being cancelled.
“Without apparently any previous view one way or another, Councillor Hitchiner has stated that a bypass ‘is not a solution’, and that it ‘often attracts traffic’, which I rather thought was the purpose of the exercise.
“If it only reduced traffic in the City by 20 per cent, a bypass would offer quite a large number of people an alternative route in to, out of, or around Hereford which is bordering on the impossible today. thanks to the expected nimby brigade, and years of political infighting.”
Frank Myers, chairman of the business board, said: “When you launch a campaign and then ask for pubic support you always hold your breath to see what comes back.
“We were delighted when comments began to arrive. Of course we had a handful which questioned our stance – but the vast majority have been keenly supportive.
“Not only that – they have shown a real appreciation of the issues involved and an understanding that we are in danger of spurning a massive opportunity.
“People realise we need this bypass if we are to create a cleaner environment, attract investment, create jobs, boost wages, care for our old folk and create a future for our youth. It’s that important – and people get it.”
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