There has been mixed reaction to the news this month that Herefordshire Council plans to postpone the Broad Street development in favour of upgrading the city’s cycle network.
The Council is claiming it’s listened to the concerns of the public after holding community consultations! This would be first. Herefordshire Tory Party, as we well know, only listen to the rich, the masons and the church. Councillor Graham ‘funny handshake’ Powell, cabinet member for education and infrastructure, also claimed that “Although improving Broad Street would have completed improvements made in the city centre over recent years, it is clear that in the current economic climate, now is not the right time to go ahead with the scheme.” So why aren’t you postponing the ESG Graham?
Meanwhile elsewhere in the council, the It’s Our County mob are trying to gain a bit of credit for the councils u-turn. “We know we were a major part of this decision even if the official statements don’t mention our part.” claim the IOC leadership.
The truth behind the councils decision more likely to be linked to future road building rather than political point scoreing. On more than one occasion Herefordshire Council has been told by the Department of Transport that money will not be made available for a by-pass until alternative traffic alleviation schemes have been tried.
The money for the Broad Street development is coming from Destination Hereford: a programme funded by the same Department of Transport. The programme aims to “reduce congestion, increase low carbon transport use and support sustainable economic growth around Hereford”. Common sense would tell you that upgrading the cycle network fits this remit far more that the Broad Street plans.
Don’t get us wrong, we support the idea of improving the cycle network. It could have a lasting positive impact on the traffic congestion in the city, but only if the money is spent wisely and effectively. Unfortunately, with this councils record of delays and fuck ups, it’s quite possible that this could go the same way as all their other ‘great’ ideas.