A new town and light rail stops in many villages - a civic group’s vision for Herefordshire

A CIVIC group's vision for Herefordshire sees them turn Ewyas Harold into a new town and allow eco-friendly train services to stop at several county villages. 

Hereford Civic Society has released its proposal for a 'Herefordshire City' which it sees as an improvement to the Local Plan which is Herefordshire Council's guide to development in the county over the next 20 years.

It says the plan is a "serious masterplan for a countywide sustainable city". Its vision would see the introduction of an eco-friendly light train service running on existing lines and calling at villages including Bartestree, Tarrington and Trumpet.

The new town idea for Ewyas Harold would see in the region of 2-3,000 new homes built in the village. "It seemed to us that most villages radiate out from a market town," said John Bothamley, the chairman of the civic society. 

"The rest of Herefordshire seems to have a market town nearby but there is a big gap in the south-western side of the county. "There's a railway line running through it and we think there's scope to open up Pontrilas station. 

"We're trying to think laterally." 

The light train approach would be similar to that already in operation in Bromsgrove and would be a cross between a tram and train system, operating on existing north, south, east and west lines. 

The north line would call at Eye and Moreton-on-Lugg, among others, while the south route would stop at Newton Farm, Allensmore, Kilpeck and Ewyas Harold. 

Travelling west would be a short line calling at the Courtyard Theatre and Whitecross, while the eastern route goes to Bartestree, Tarrington and Trumpet on its way to Ledbury. 

The civic society also wants to improve direct train links to London and upgrade the A4103 Hereford to Worcester road. A Dutch-style road system with increased shared space is also outlined in the plan, together with a new river crossing. 

"There needs to be some talk about relieving some of the traffic on the bridges," said Mr Bothamley.

The civic society says it is interested to hear feedback on the proposals and, on October 15, the group intends to publicly discuss the plans at the Kindle Centre in South Wye, Hereford.

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