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To: Herefordshire Council and Marches LEP

Stop the Herefordshire Southern Link Road

Stop the Herefordshire Southern Link Road

We call on the Herefordshire Council and their unelected colleages at Marches LEP to cancel this deeply flawed scheme. So flawed in fact that reports from the participants are at odds with themselves. The plan is to build a road through Grafton Wood between the A465 Hereford/Abergavenny Road and the A49, with an odd link on to the B4349 to the west which was not in the original plan.

Why is this important?

It is clear that this scheme (South Wye Transport Package) will do nothing to relieve traffic through Hereford as it is presented to the public. It is to unlock land (some of which is already owned by the council - therefore us) for the wholesale industrialisation of South Herefordshire with roads, industrial buildings and cheap housing.

What, you might ask, is wrong with this? Doesn't Herefordshire need jobs and homes? Yes, arguably it does but the devil is in the detail. Herefordshire may need selective, attractive developments - both commercial and residential - that tie in with and support its USP of tourism, agriculture and just being attractive. What Herefordshire does not need is broiler sheds, ugly retail and industrial parks and acres of soul sapping, shoddily built hutches that now degrade and blight so much of the country.

Examples of flaws:
The Marches LEP says:
“Scheme business cases should therefore demonstrate high value for money and contribution to economic growth, reducing carbon emissions, reducing social exclusion, improving safety and promoting health / well being”.

The Parsons Brinkerhoff report to Cabinet on the Southern Link road options clearly states that “all scheme options will have a slight adverse impact on greenhouse gases due to vehicles travelling greater distances and at higher speeds.” and adds
“All route variations will have an adverse impact on walking and cycling levels in the rural area, discouraging these activities by increasing severance on existing routes and loss of rural amenity through the introduction of traffic noise and proximity to traffic.”

The Highways Agency were clearly fed disinfo by our council cabinet (made obvious by their response) and in a passage missing from the council report state:
" ...under current guidance the building of new road infrastructure could only be justified in policy terms when other avenues such as travel planning and sustainable travel modes had been developed and shown not to address the transport needs and issues identified. We note the commitment to improve cycling and walking environments on the A465.“

No such mention of cycling and walking provision appeared in the subsequent Cabinet presentation. None of the alternative remedies have been tried. These are only some of the flaws, and others are under review by teams concerned with the resulting impact.

Proper consultation has not taken place, to the extent that at least one retired couple we know of were the last to know that an add on to the scheme is due to go through the middle of their garden and ploughing through 500 yr old oak trees. Today it is their garden under threat, tomorrow it could be yours as the SLR is clearly the tip of the iceberg to the plans If you are on the outer edges of the city of Hereford, now is the time to act and lobby your local councillors and MPs. Responses should be made to Herefordshire Council re Planning Application 151314

This kind of development will eventually destroy Herefordshire: it will destroy its beauty. It will destroy its individuality. It will destroy everything that makes it special and, worst of all, it will destroy its local, home grown businesses and local economy by making the county so unappealing, bleak and blighted that no-one with any choice will want to visit it let alone invest in it and live in it.


Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • The climate emergency means all decisions we take from now on must reduce carbon, not generate more.
  • Hereford does not need a by pass, the “relief “ road was a waste of our money, the. Hereford needs better facilities for cyclists and walkers.
  • We must protect our countryside from roads/property developers/polytunnels/solar farms/wind turbines


2018-02-20 22:00:36 +0000


2018-02-20 21:00:14 +0000

Since this campaign started we have seen travesty after travesty of a local council cabinet giving themselves permission to ride roughshod over the electorate, and fellow councillors who are not given the opportunity to represent their wards.

This road still has not been built because they do not have the funding yet and the timeslip in achieving their aims has stretched and stretched, a bit like the road which has morphed as we always knew it would into a bypass by stealth.

Yes, this was always a stealth move to build a bypass around Hereford, and now the plan has become naked to all it is becoming a necessity to raise a NEW petition against the follow on route to the west of Hereford known as the Western Relief Road or Hereford Bypass. We will leave this open for those to the south of the Hereford as this section has not yet materialised, but strongly recommend that you now sign the new one which will link here soon.

2016-08-11 14:30:24 +0100

Campaign For Better Transport joined local campaigners CPRE, It's Our County, Herefordshire Green Party, Herefordshire Transport Alliance and others in calling for Herefordshire Council's decision to pass their own planning application to be called in.

In his letter to the Secretary of State, Campaign for Better Transport's Stephen Joseph set out the many grounds on which we objected to the link road, not least that it is a waste of public money, creating a lot of harm for little or no benefit.

2016-08-11 14:24:36 +0100

Some recent posts from HTA & HTF include
PLANNING MEETING: Missing from the official meeting minutes was this testimony from Ashley Elliott. Important because it was relating to evidence of rare plant life in Grafton Wood. We find it hard (in the light of regular behaviour from this administration) that this omission from the official minutes was an accident.

Complaints have been made about this behaviour at Herefordshire Council where democracy is strangled.

2016-08-11 14:18:05 +0100

The battle continues below radar for the moment, but please don't think we are giving in. Far from it.
Keep checking back for fresh news when we come out of the mist of battle :-)
Also don't forget our facebook pages for updates. HTF now joined by a wider alliance ....

2016-07-01 11:33:06 +0100

Several call in requests have been denied but yet to hear a response to ours, meanwhile we are looking at the process for Judicial Review. This may be costing some money. Are you willing to contribute? Watch this space.

2016-05-29 00:25:46 +0100

500 signatures reached

2016-05-27 21:11:10 +0100

We have a tory cabinet of councillors who seem t think they know better than their MP in the same party.

2016-05-27 20:56:49 +0100

Some of the notable objections and adverse comments on Planning App 151314
Allensmore Parish Council
Belmont Rural Parish Council
Callow & Haywood Parish Council
Clehonger Parish Council
Kingstone & Thruxton Grp Parish Council
Campaign for Better Transport
Herefordshire Wildlife Trust (effects on wildlife and vegetation)
Hereford Civic Society
Hereford City Council
Here For Hereford
Hereford Transport Forum
Herefordshire Transport Alliance
Herefordshire Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)
Herefordshire Tree Warden Network
Historic England
Natural England (critical comments only)
The Tree Council
Woodland Trust
Jesse Norman MP
(Submission by Jesse Norman attached)
Hereford Times Editorial
The Council Buildings Conservation Officer

2016-05-27 20:52:51 +0100

The proposed road will remove prime agricultural land from use. Over 30ha is to be sacrificed to build the SLR, and while the planning application acknowledges that this is an adverse effect, there has been no formal 'Agricultural Impact Assessment,' contrary to Dept. for Transport Guidance when an area of high grade farmland greater than 20ha is to be taken out of production use for a road scheme.

The SLR will damage ancient woodland and veteran trees, along with 'protected species.'

The Council’s proposals for mitigation by new planting are unsound as by definition Ancient Woodland is irreplaceable.

2016-05-27 20:51:47 +0100

The Building Conservation Officer's summary of findings mentions this: "Overall it is concluded that, from a heritage point of view:
• The selection of Route SC2 is of concern in relation to the impacts on historic significance.
• The route itself does not comply with Core Strategy Policy LD4 as it does not protect, conserve or enhance the heritage assets on which it has an impact.
• The "less than substantial harm" of the scheme engages NPPF paragraph 134.
As a result the application proposal cannot be supported in heritage terms.

2016-05-27 20:51:13 +0100

Public Health England’s recent advice to Local Authorities says, “health-promoting transport systems are pro-business and support economic prosperity. They enable optimal travel to work with less congestion, collisions, pollution, and they support a healthier workforce.”
The SLR will adversely impact human health by increasing air pollution and traffic noise as a result of vehicles travelling a greater distance and at a higher speed. It will do nothing to reduce car use and may indeed generate more “induced” traffic. 'Rising levels of asthma are in part due to traffic pollution, and obesity to non-active forms of transport. 1 in 6 deaths are related to inactivity.'

2016-05-27 20:51:00 +0100

Hereford - 26th May 2016 – The controversial Southern Link Road is headed for the planning committee of Herefordshire Council on 6th June and is already facing a mass of objections from public bodies responsible for the economy of the county, it's health and environment, along with our MP, local press editorials and members of the public. Jesse Norman MP has publicly expressed many of the same concerns as those expressed by Herefordshire Transport Alliance and in his latest submission has asked for consideration to be given to points raised by HTA in a recent meeting with him, that illustrate 'deficiencies in the way the Council is justifying the plans for the SLR and the problems it is causing by failing to consult effectively with directly affected parties., and the lack of concern about the distress caused to individuals directly affected by the construction of the road, and the costs incurred as a result.'

2016-05-21 19:12:03 +0100

Time is coming too for peaceful presence of feet on the street again.
Here is an earlier occasion at the handing in of an earlier petition confined to the immediate local of Haywood and Grafton. Can we see you all at the Shirehall 6th June 2016 .... Show them we are serious.

2016-05-21 16:07:47 +0100

You can see responses (majority objections) at this link. Note complaints about objections being hidden for 11 months (referred to by Anthony Powers in the video below) discovered under an FOI request. Exposing the less than transparent behaviour of the cabinet.

Kelly Gibbons says further objections to the scheme can still be sent in to Herefordshire Council's Planning Department, quoting reference 151314, to email [email protected]

2016-05-21 16:01:38 +0100

Well, this story is rumbling on and things are bubbling nicely with less than transparent behaviour on the part of council being exposed under FOI requests, and objections from a year ago only just appearing on the responses page (following the FOI requests it would seem).
Woodland Trust (while late to the party) have now raised a petition too and we welcome that. Recent discoveries in Grafton Wood (where WSP/Parsons Brinkerhoff clearly did not do a year round study) include another protected species.
Meanwhile the cabinet refusal to listen to any pleas, even from our MP who is a member of the same party, continue unabated, as witness this observation from the leader of the main opposition party in the council yesterday in the Full council meeting ...

2015-11-05 17:13:48 +0000

Keep educating friends and relatives on the destructive elements of this scheme ... We are now supported by an alliance comprised of other groups who have been opposing the scheme for sometime and have agreed on a united opposition to this road ...
You can also keep up with the united campaign at

2015-11-05 17:09:02 +0000

Third event held 4th November collected more unique objections to the planning application 151314 and more signatures on the paper version of this petition.

2015-11-05 16:53:38 +0000

From Hereford Times 24th October: A further 100 letters of objection have been delivered to planning officers by those opposing an earmarked link road on the outskirts of Hereford.
A quick video look at that event ... actually held Weds 21st Oct.

2015-10-01 20:44:36 +0100

The Planning Inspector did not find Herefordshire Council's Local Plan to be sound, and even now (29/9/15) it is subject to more than 70 modification references before it can pass the tests of legal compliance.
The Inspector states in her Report (#54):
“… the HRR is not identified in the Council's Local Transport Plan [C46a] as planned infrastructure, the funding is not secure and it is not part of Highways England (HE) Road Investment Strategy for 2015 – 2020... The route has not been modelled or identified in detail and there is a high degree of uncertainty about whether the HRR is viable and can be achieved within the plan period... (#63): the Inspector goes on to say (#91):
“... the submission Plan policy HD3 relating to movement failed to emphasise the importance of achieving and promoting sustainable transport to help address demand. MM016 adds text to the Hereford movement section to ensure that the focus of the policy … is to facilitate sustainable transport”.

2015-10-01 20:39:33 +0100

Kelly Gibbons says further objections to the scheme can still be sent in to Herefordshire Council's Planning Department, quoting reference 151314, to email [email protected]
Questions from the public regarding the southern link road tell the story of this council very succinctly.

If, like us, you thought the Edgar Street Trees fiasco was bad then the future for Ancient Woodlands, 500 yr old oak trees, grade 1 farmland and AONBs is even more bleak. More destruction features heavily in the plans of Herefordshire Council cabinet's plans, unless we stand up tall like majestic oaks and defend our county.

2015-07-06 00:10:44 +0100

This issue is going to keep running for awhile. All the better for you to keep telling your friends and relatives anabout this and keep sharing as widely as possible. Council's Planning Officer has admitted that there will be a further period of consultation on the vexed question of the Council seeking planning permission (from itself) for its own Southern Link Road proposal. This consultation is not likely to take place before the end of August. Despite totaling 107 documents, the paperwork submitted with the planning application (No. 151314) is deemed to be insufficient. An updated 'Package Assembly' of sustainable transport measures, plus further reports on Archaeology, the Historic Environment, Landscape Sensitivity, a 'No Road Scenario', and a Water Framework Directive Assessment are still awaited. This list is by no means exhaustive, and as the Council points out: '...there may be some other documents that will require further consultation.'

2015-06-27 22:32:47 +0100

Hereford Transport Forum, raising the profile of objections to Southern Link Road - Road to Nowhere, with an address by nationally renowned campaigner for better transport John Stewart. Recorded at The Shirehall in Hereford on Weds 24th June 2015. John Stewart proposed we MAKE A NATIONAL ‘LINE IN THE SAND.'

2015-06-22 13:06:34 +0100


The next public meeting for Hereford Transport Forum will be at the Shirehall, St Peter's Square, Hereford on 24th June at 7-30 pm.
Guest speakers include John Stewart who, with a broad coalition of groups under the umbrella of Alarm UK, successfully undermined the economic and transport arguments for road building in the 90s by showing that, in a mature economy like the UK, more roads were not critical to economic success. Indeed, new roads simply generated more traffic.
and you can keep up with news of course at our facebook page ...

2015-06-08 12:55:20 +0100

Planning objections for SLR P151314F need to be in by 18th June so no time to waste waiting for others, or the petition. Individual objections need to be made. Petitions are an excellent way of drawing attention to a problem but councils rather dishonestly regard them as one objection.
For those people who do not have time to wade through all the Southern Link Road planning documents, Here for Hereford has prepared an information sheet, and it can be found here.

2015-06-03 22:18:38 +0100

One more video ...

2015-06-03 21:58:56 +0100

Some news from Worcester ... Remember, they have a bypass already, and we have this potential debacle to look forward to if we do not stop this local stealth project to carpet Hereford with soulless little boxes and broiler houses along with the associated toxic dust from traffic bringing their cargo to Sun Valley. No diverting this traffic off along SLR.

2015-06-03 21:37:46 +0100

First public meeting Friday 5th June 2015 at 7-30pm at The Kindle Centre (next to Asda)
Belmont Road, Hereford.
, HR2 7JW

2015-05-19 14:42:21 +0100

Additional info: We now have a planning number to respond to .... Personal responses should be made to Herefordshire Council re Planning Application 151314

2015-05-15 11:55:38 +0100

100 signatures reached

2015-05-14 11:20:16 +0100

50 signatures reached

2015-05-13 22:29:11 +0100

25 signatures reached

2015-05-13 20:11:43 +0100

10 signatures reached

2015-05-13 19:59:01 +0100