Herefordshire Council’s Coalition Leader, Cllr Hitchiner and his coalition suffered a humiliating climbdown when shopkeepers and residents shot down his ludicrous plans to close off our market town centres.

The sensible and vociferous opposition to the proposed Emergency Active Travel Plans, along with a dose of budget reality has saved our treasured market towns.

At a time when businesses need support from their local authorities, Herefordshire County Council’s plans were unnecessary, ill-judged and damaging, leaving many unanswered questions over the Coalition Council’s true allegiances.

Commenting, Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire said:

“I welcome this climbdown over the council interpretation of the Emergency Active Travel Measures.

Herefordshire County Council and their ridiculous, ineffective ‘Green’ agenda was seen off by the common sense of the local people.

Cllr Harrington, Cabinet member for Infrastructure and Transport, said on record that the Government would come in and act if he did not.

This is now proven to be, at best a misunderstanding, people must wonder how his statements can be taken seriously ever again.

The Council’s pathological hatred of roads, cars and prosperity are hard to fathom but after kicking the bypass into the long grass we now see this agenda pop up again.

This time they tried to use the Governments Covid handout to try to squeeze past unwelcome change under the electorates noses.

After all the worry, confusion and anger these plans have caused, in the end, they had to backtrack on road closures and now want to make our town centres 20-mph zones.

Unbelievably, we hear that the new speed limits will be unenforceable.

The tragedy is that this Government money could have been spent on a worthwhile project if properly managed but will now just be spent on a few signs.

It is laughable to suggest that the Government would have waded in to put some unenforceable 20mph signs up in our towns.

The £4.5 million Maylord Shopping Centre is now in the hands of Herefordsire Council, however, we still don’t know what they want to do with it.

Meanwhile this is the time of year when the dry weather allows for proper road works to be carried out.

Would it not be nice if they fixed the potholes in this County and whilst they are at it, reopened the Fownhope road.

Herefordshire County Council’s ruling coalition need to rise up to what the electorate expects of them. Sadly, this seems to be proving difficult for them.”

The finalised plans approved by Herefordshire County Council can be found here: www.herefordshire.gov.uk/covid19travelmeasures