THE outcome of next week’s county council election will dictate the future of Hereford’s proposed bypass.

The local Conservative Party administration at Herefordshire Council has put all its weight behind making the £136m road a reality.

They believe the solution to the city’s traffic woes lies in slicing through the picturesque countryside to the west to connect the Rotherwas Relief Road/Ross Road roundabout with the A49 north of Holmer.

Their manifesto reads: “Traffic congestion pollutes our city and damages our local economy.

“We are committed to delivering a bypass in both Hereford and Leominster to help ease congestion and improve air quality.”

However, the Green Party says they would scrap major projects such as the Southern Link Road and bypass and instead aim to tackle the causes of traffic congestion.

Their main focus is on preventing Hereford’s traffic jams at peak times with a more integrated public transport system, better cycle and walking routes and improving electric vehicle charging points.

It’s Our County says new road building must always be a last resort and never a first option.

They say the Hereford bypass would only take the 15% of through traffic out of the city and would cost more than £200m and inflict huge environmental destruction.

Instead, they have pledged to invest in new school bus services and other sustainable transport options such as trackless trams and community travel apps.

“For a fraction of its cost and with no damage to our countryside, the city’s congestion can be solved with sustainable alternatives,” their manifesto reads.

The Liberal Democrats propose bringing together an integrated transport service for rural areas and the city.

Their proposals include re-routing the existing A49 by completing the bypass around Hereford which they believe would lead to better cycle routes through the city and lower carbon emissions.

While the Herefordshire Independents say they support the principle of more river crossings in the city.

Their leader Bob Matthews has said that an eastern route would be more beneficial.

His group believes in finding a ‘solution fit for the 21st Century’ by creating improved rail services, park and ride, bus services, cycling routes and safe walkways.

The Labour Party’s transport proposals for the county include opposition to the current bypass scheme.

Instead, they are calling for a regional policy to include more accessible public transport for the visually impaired, free park and ride facilities on the outskirts of the city.

They would also like to see the council take responsibility for future road maintenance and they want to bring rail companies back under public control.