TRAFFIC lights at major pinch point junctions in Hereford could be removed in favour of new roundabouts, according to local transport chiefs.
Herefordshire Council’s infrastructure and transport cabinet member John Harrington says his department will be exploring the possibility of making substantial changes to the road network.
This will form part of the council’s ambitious new masterplan for transport across the county.
Bottleneck junctions being considered include those at The Kerry and where the City Link Road meets Edgar Street, Widemarsh Street and Commercial Road.
“We’ve got to go for it,” Coun Harrington said.
“We are absolutely committed to looking at removing traffic lights off not only on our highways.
“We are looking at whether we can turn them off by The Kerry and turn that into a roundabout.
“We are looking at whether we can take the lights out at the bottom of Aylestone Hill by the new link road and have a roundabout there as well.”
“I’m also speaking to Highways England about whether or not it’s better to have a roundabout at Edgar Street where the city link road comes out.
“And also where Widemarsh Street meets the City Link Road. That should be a roundabout. I don’t know why that was ever put in as traffic lights.”
Councillor Harrington said he is struggling to understand why roundabouts were not planned for the new city link road instead of traffic lights as they hinder the movement of traffic.
His vision for the city is to make sure traffic is constantly moving as much as possible.
“Perhaps traffic lights are easier to do.
“But for whatever reason the junctions were done that way and they don’t help the flow of traffic.
“What you want in Hereford is a city where you have slow speeds but constantly movement.
“If you said to most people who come into the city, ‘Look, you might have to stick to 20mph or 30mph but you will get through the city,’ I think they would be happy with that.
“The problem that you have with traffic lights, and other natural stops like that, is you are causing congestion by creating a wave all the time.”
The county council officers will be compiling a formal transport report which is expected to be made public the next month.
Councillor Harrington says they have already identified where they can get the funding for the different projects.
But they want the input of local people who know how the city moves.
“There are all sorts of things that I need input from members of the public on,” Coun Harrington said.
“There are many people in Hereford that know there are pinch points in the city.
“The railway bridge on Roman Road by the Volkswagen garage is one.
“Why that was never converted into two lanes, I don’t know.
“We will be consulting not just on road improvements, but also on where they would like to see cycle paths. Or what it would take for them to use their bike for short journeys.
“The whole point of a masterplan session is that I want the input of the people who are using our transport network every day.
“People in Hereford have a tremendous amount of knowledge about how can be done to make things better.”