Criticising my call for Herefordshire Council, after a delay of more than 30 years, to get on with the bypass, Janette Ward (Letters, July 11) says that “We need to get out of cars and on to public transport, so let’s get on with a new cleaner and greener plan”. In an ideal world, I would agree but we need to face facts. Many if not most people in Herefordshire have to travel, often long distances, for work, shopping and leisure and do so by car because there is no alternative. To provide the sort of public transport required to significantly reduce the need for cars in a large county with a widely scattered population would require enormous capital investment and huge subsidy of running costs, far beyond what Herefordshire could ever afford. In addition, public transport will not replace the goods delivery vehicles that we rely on.

The UK population is growing rapidly and Herefordshire is not exempt from this. Also Herefordshire needs to attract people and businesses if we are to even sustain what we have.

All of this means that, like it or not, the number of vehicles on our roads, albeit they may be electric or hydrogen powered, is going to go up, not down, and we should prepare accordingly. I expect that we shall hear proposals for cycleways, the Hereford equivalent of “Boris bikes”, electric hopper buses etc. I expect that these would make but a very small contribution to the climate change problem, benefit a small proportion of Hereford residents but be paid for by the rest of Herefordshire. I would echo Ms Ward’s call for us to stop and think if I thought that the pause would be used to generate joined-up thinking and be approached on the basis of nothing ruled in, nothing ruled out.

Sadly, I cannot feel confident of that and, since I believe that were a review approached in that fashion, it would only strengthen the case for the bypass, I suggest that we stop wasting time and get on with it.

Mark Franklin