News from Hereford & South Herefordshire constituency and council ward areas

30 October – Southern Link Road Public Inquiry LAST DAY IS TUESDAY 13 NOVEMBER

The Inquiry will examine whether it is in the public interest for land to be compulsorily purchased to build the SLR.

The Inquiry will be held in the Bridge Room at Hereford Left Bank. Starts at 10 AM on 30 October and runs for seven days (excluding weekend), closing on 7 November.

It is open to everyone – not just those who have objected to the SLR in the past.  Just drop in if you can spare an hour or so.

All the documents to be considered are on this website

Hope to see you there!

Clear public support for HEREFORD BYPASS – Real or fake news?

The correspondence below illustrates how public support for the Hereford Bypass is being mis-represented. Our position is that the recent consultation showed that only 41% of the public who took part want a Bypass. And some of the 41% may have been saying Yes to an Eastern Bypass.

By ‘working the numbers’ Herefordshire Council wants us to believe that the level of support is actually 59%.

Either way, there is clearly not overwhelming support!

And if the decision to go ahead with the Bypass was made back in 2015, why ask the public in 2018 if they support it?

From Jeremy Milln:

Dear Councillor Price,

You didn’t answer my supplementary question at Cabinet meeting this morning (27 July), complaining you could not hear it properly and promised to answer it after the meeting.

An answer, and I mean a direct answer to the question as posed and not a ‘response’ which argues or equivocates, is respectfully requested.

For ease of reference, here is the text:

Obviously if you are prepared to count only a subset of respondents, you will skew the percentage. The fact remains 1789 ticking ‘yes’ to a bypass out of 4351 is 41%, and the report adds that 1747 indicating a preferred route is just 40%. We now learn quite a few volunteered preference for an Eastern route, so the actual percentage supporting a Western will be only thirty something percent, and of those only 121 or about 3% voted positively for the Red Route.

Yet I am reminded that at Full Council on 9th March, the Cabinet Member for Infrastructure said “it would be wrong to set a percentage” to the question and he is recorded as adding he would press on with his bypass no matter what. In that case would he kindly beg our indulgence for misleading us to thinking we had a say and for spending public money collecting data he uses as he chooses?

I must correct your reply to my original question, and the Consultants’ presentation on the results of the Consultation where the line ‘59% agreed a bypass form part of the package’ was mischievously repeated in one of the slides.  This ignores the significance of the fact a very large number of respondents declined to be drawn on the subject of a bypass at all.

The message from the Consultation and from the IoC, Green and Independent group presentations, is that it is overwhelmingly the active/sustainable transport measures people want.  Also that few outside the conservative group – and I suspect several thoughtful individuals within the conservative group –  buy the narrative this is only to be considered if, at ruinous environmental and financial cost, we accept your ‘bypass’ and masses of car-dependent urban sprawl.  This is outdated 1970s thinking when, for the sake of our health and well-being we need to embrace 21st century values and behaviors in a convincing and enlightened way.

Yours sincerely

Jeremy Milln

For reference, here are the council meeting public questions and answers on the subject:

Cabinet 27 July 2018

Submitted Question: Para 11 of the report for Cabinet, states ‘A total of 4,351 questionnaires were either fully or partially completed’, and in para 15, ‘1789 of these respondents (59%) said they agreed that a bypass should from part of the package’. The claim, at para 24, that this represents a majority is untruthful, since of course 1789 respondents ticking ‘yes’ from a total of 4351 questionnaires is 41% not 59%. What is the number or proportion of this 41% who, in the consultation form comments boxes, indicated a preference for an Eastern route?

 Response

I must correct the statement included in the question; the Phase 2 Consultation Report is not untruthful. Paragraph 15 of the Cabinet Report is quite clear that 3,033 people responded to the question ‘Do you agree that a bypass should form part of the package?’ Of these respondents, 1,789 (or 59%) said that they agreed a bypass should form part of the package. This indicates clear support for the bypass.

Full Council 9 March 2018

Submitted Question: The Hereford Transport Package consultation asks respondents if they agree that a bypass should form part of a package. What percentage answering No to this question will result in the bypass proposals being dropped?

Response: It would be wrong to set a percentage in relation to a single question as you propose – this is a consultation not a referendum. To do so would be to disregard the comprehensive evidence base which informed the Core Strategy adopted by Council in 2015 and which confirms that the bypass scheme is needed to deliver the county’s growth.

“MUST WE REALLY ALL GO DOWN WITH THE SHIP?”

There was standing room only on 17 July in Hereford’s Left Bank main hall for a talk on “Brexit – Where’s it going?” – by Green Party MEP and economist Molly Scott Cato.

 

Molly (pictured with Green county councillors Felicity Norman, left, and Ellie Chowns, right) the Green Party speaker on Brexit made a passionate and powerful plea for a ‘People’s Vote’ – a second referendum.

 

 

“WOULD YOU BUY THIS HOUSE?”

She likened the Brexit saga to buying a house. You put in your offer to purchase but then you get the results of the structural survey which shows you are about to buy a load of trouble. To those claiming a second referendum would be ‘undemocratic’ she quoted (of all people!) former Tory Brexit secretary David Davis who once said: “If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.”


So much more is known now than when the public voted in the referendum, she said. The government’s own studies into the impacts of Brexit show it will be disastrous for the economy. Molly, who is on the EU Parliament Agriculture Committee, said UK farming is one of the sectors that will be badly. Crops are already rotting in the fields of Cornwall due to lack of labour and lamb exports to the EU are set to be hit by a 40 per cent tariff when we leave ‘the club.’


“TRUMP AND PUTIN UNDERMINING EU”


Globally, Putin’s Russia is waging a cyber war against democracies and tried to influence the outcome of the UK referendum. Both Trump and Putin aim to undermine the EU.
At home, ‘dark money’ is influencing events. The ‘Leave’ campaigns – one headed by Michael Gove and cabinet chums and the other by UKIP’s Nigel Farage – have been found to have breached electoral law and fined with some organisers now referred to the police.


“It is quite clear the mandate for Brexit lies buried beneath countless occurrences of cheating, voter manipulation and electoral law-breaking, “ said Molly.


With the Tories divided, Labour mute and parliament deadlocked, voters should be given the opportunity to vote on the Brexit deal, she said, adding:“There is a growing chorus from all parts of the political spectrum – I believe momentum is really building for a people’s vote.”


The event, chaired by Diana Toynbee of Hereford Greens, featured a wide-ranging discussion with Molly Scott Cato answering many questions from the audience.


Asked “What can we do? Molly urged people to get involved with the local Herefordshire For Europe campaign whose organisers took part in the event.

(report by Pete Blench)

Big Green Conversation 23 May – SOIL

Kate Adams (Wye & Usk Foundation) and Caroline Hanks (local farming advisor on soil and meadows) led the latest BGC and gave a fascinating presentation.

Their topic “LOVE SOIL – Healthy soil for healthy crops, healthy livestock and healthy rivers”

Since the intensification of farming, soil has not been managed well, but things are looking up. Instead of focussing so much on the Physics and Chemistry of soil, more emphasis is now being give to its Biology.

Under the EU Water Framework Directive, water authorities must measure overall water quality and the health of river wildlife. The Rivers Wye and Usk are about as good/bad as the average of British rivers. Phosphates are a well known issue, particularly for the River Lugg. About half the phosphates in Herefordshire’s rivers come from domestic sources, primarily sewage. Agriculture  contributes roughly the same amount. Phosphate attaches to soil particles, so elevated phosphate levels in water indicates soil is being washed into rivers.

The negative impacts of poor water quality include:

  • poor appearance and taste of tap (drinking) water
  • lower quality agricultural produce
  • recreation (canoeing and fishing for example)
  • tourism (landscape, biodiversity)

Improving water quality means minimising the release of phosphates from agriculture – more accurate and targetted us of fertilisers, keeping stock out of waterways, and reducing soil run off. The Environment Agency uses satellite imaging to track fields left bare in the winter months and follows up with farmers to educate them on better practice and sanction them is necessary.

Follow Dave Throup on Twitter to see how it works.

 

Caroline Hanks explained some of her work is helping local farmers introduce better arable farming techniques (eg. different rotations, use of cover crops, understanding soil biology, ) that will improve soil quality. See examples on Farm Herefordshire website here

 

Michael Gove’s recent announcements as DEFRA head on how UK agriculture might change after Brexit were briefly discussed. Some scepticism expressed that the walk might actually match the talk!

23 May: Big Green Conversation “LOVE SOIL – Healthy soil for healthy crops, healthy livestock and healthy rivers”

Talk and discussion, jointly led by Kate Adams of Wye and Usk Foundation and Caroline Hanks of Herefordshire Meadows

“Healthy soil underpins our agriculture, horticulture and ecosystems – but it’s a topic that’s often undervalued.

We will explore the importance of soil health and water quality to Herefordshire’s economy; what are the challenges and solutions and how we can influence those who manage this precious resource.”

Scientists are warning that soil erosion threatens UK capacity to produce food, e.g. Lord Krebs of Committee on Climate Change in 2015, “The most fertile topsoils in the east of England – where 25 per cent of our potatoes and 30 per cent of our vegetables are grown – could be lost within a generation,”

The recent extreme snow with drifting showed how soil is being eroded from fields – see pictures and discussion here.

At the Garden Room, Left Bank Village BRIDGE STREET, Hereford HR4 9DG

Come along to hear what can be done to protect our soils and wildlife.

Big Green Conversation Apr 2018: “Palestine Children on the Frontline”

Betty Hunter, Honorary President of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, spoke at April’s Big Green Conversation about Palestine and particularly how Palestinian children are treated by the Israeli justice system, police and military.

She said Israel signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, but effectively treats Palestinian children as terrorists.

Children suffer trauma, mental illness, and disrupted education – as a result of interrogation, detention and physical and mental abuse.

Most children who are detained are alleged to have been seen stone-throwing. They are protesting about land grabs and (for example) wanton destruction of olive trees. Their treatment by the Israeli justice system is akin to apartheid – the law enshrines discrimination against Palestinians, eg:

  • the maximum period of detention without charge is 40 days for Israelis, but 188 for Palestinians
  • the maximum period of detention without access to a lawyer is 48 hours for Israelis, but 90 days for Palestinians

After being arrested, Palestinian children are commonly held in solitary confinement – the average period in recent years is 13 days, the longest on record is 45 days. And nearly all children are interrogated without a parent or lawyer present. Almost all confess, because they know the chances of proving their innocence are so slim.

Betty went on to outline how her organisation works to support the Palestinian cause. PSC started in 2001 with a call to boycott Israeli goods. As well as generally raising awareness, they also now encourage divestment and argue for sanctions. “Companies that support the Israeli State are the targets, not British based ‘Jewish’ companies like Marks and Spencer”. Israeli football is also a target – campaigners argue that it is racist and should not be allowed to play within Europe.

Support among Israelis for their government’s treatment of Palestinians is far from universal. A group of ex Israeli conscript soldiers known as ‘Breaking the Silence‘ bravely report on what they experienced. Palestine support is growing in the USA – a group called Jewish Voice for Peace is promoting divestment.

Betty gave a short interview after the meeting – video here

25 April: Big Green Conversation – “Palestinian Children on the Frontline”

Presentation by Betty Hunter (Hon. President of Palestine Solidarity Campaign)

7 for 7.30  @ de Koffie Pot, Left Bank, Hereford, HR4 9DG

Israel is denying the children of Palestine a future through military occupation and imprisonment. The international community must defend their rights.

Israel is the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes children in military courts – between 500 and 700 each year. The Israel Prison Service revealed that an average of 204 Palestinian children have been held in custody every month since 2012.

Ill-treatment in the Israeli military detention system remains “widespread, systematic, and institutionalised throughout the process”. These were the conclusions of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report ‘Children in Israeli Military Detention Observations and Recommendations‘.

Palestinian children as young as 12 are routinely:

  • Taken from their homes at gunpoint in night-time raids by soldiers.
  • Blindfolded, bound and shackled.
  • Interrogated without a lawyer or relative being present and with no audio-visual recording.
  • Put into solitary confinement.
  • Forced to sign confessions (often in Hebrew – a language they do not understand).

Ahed Tamimi – pictured above when much younger – is a 16 year-old Palestinian child potentially facing over a decade in an Israeli prison because of an aggressive political campaign against her family and her village.

Here is a 5 minute interview with Ahed, and a video report showing how her family has been treated.

28 March: Big Green Conversation “Being a Green Councillor in Herefordshire: The Inside Story”

At De Koffie Pot, Hereford. 7.30 to 9.30pm

Our four busy and effective Green Party county councillors will talk about life on the council. Come find out about how they are making Herefordshire Greener. Includes discussion about the local elections in May 2019 and getting more Green representation on the council.

 

Hereford Transport Package consultation – ending soon (20 March)

The consultation closes on Tuesday 20th March.

An exhibition of bypass routes and possible improvements to support for cycling, walking and public transport will be open at Hereford Library on Friday 16th, Saturday 17th and Monday 19th March

Background information about the Bypass, and an on-line consultation response form is on the Council website here.

If you are opposed to the bypass, which is the main part of this package, we ask that you consider carefully how to answer questions 2 and 3. There is a risk that if you answer “No Preference” to Q3, it will be taken to mean you are happy with any of the proposed routes.

If you do not think there should be a Western Bypass we suggest you may wish to complete the form as shown below.

Owen Jones misunderstands the fundamental philosophy of the Green party

Letter from Edward Milford in The Guardian 26 Feb 2018

Owen Jones misunderstands the fundamental philosophy of the Green party. We have an overall goal that is to allow all of humanity to thrive, democratically, while making only sustainable use of the planet’s resources. Under this overarching approach, a fairer distribution of resources (which some might want to label as “leftwing”) is just one, albeit essential, component. By contrast, Labour continues to rely on infinite growth on a finite planet to underwrite its policies. When it eventually grasps the physical contradiction this implies, the damage it does to us all, and adjusts what it stands for accordingly, I’m sure it could easily affiliate with the Green party.
Edward Milford
Hereford and South Herefordshire Green party

referring to Owen’s opinion piece “The Greens’ best hope is to sign up with Labour” on 22 February

 

28 Feb: Big Green Conversation – Will the Hereford Bypass bring relief?

Herefordshire Council is pressing ahead with its plan to build a ‘Western Relief Road’ or as it’s now known the ‘Hereford Bypass’.

This Big Green Conversation will discuss the proposals for the new road and bridge over the River Wye between Belmont and Breinton. And look at the alternatives.

7.30pm in De Koffie Pot, Left Bank Hereford

 

A ROAD, A ROAD, MY KINGDOM FOR A ROAD.

Road building is seldom off the agenda at Herefordshire Council meetings, and last month (January) the controversial subject of ‘The Bypass’ got a really thorough airing. On one side we had the Council (or perhaps, rather the Cabinet) who want a sort of M25 for Hereford. On the other was a determined group of activists and opponents who object to the proposed Western Relief Road because – it’s too expensive and not needed; it disfigures a beautiful, peaceful un-spoilt part of the County; it threatens closure of the Hereford Community Farm; or it should be on the eastern side of the city.

Roads deliver economic growth – or do they?

Why does the Cabinet want this road so badly? While they make soothing noises about alleviating traffic congestion, improving air quality, getting people out of their cars to improve their health, their answers to the dozens of recent public questions mention ‘growth’ again and again.

For example at Cabinet on 18 January, the meeting was told emphatically that ‘businesses are desperate for a bypass.’ (So emphatically it almost felt like reactive denial.) But that was as far as it went – no details about which businesses, how much they would increase their profits or how many jobs were to be created. You might think that if businesses are going to benefit from a road scheme costing at least £175m (budgetary estimates for the Western Relief Road plus the Southern Link Road), they should be paying the lion’s share of the price.

As I wrote in the Hereford Times (published 1st Feb), the ‘growth’ justification is tenuous at best. It’s extremely hard to find solid evidence that major new roads bring investment, jobs and time saving to the extent that their developers claim.

In 2016, The What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth reviewed 2,300 evaluations of the local economic impact of transport projects, and found only 17 robust evaluations looking at the local economic impact of roads – and the findings on impacts are rather mixed. They concluded, “there is little robust evaluation evidence on the impact they [roads] have on local economic development.”

Then in March 2017, CPRE tested the evidence itself, using government data known as POPE, which records the effects of each major road built. In their report, ‘The End of the Road’, CPRE found that the great majority of road schemes delivered far less economic benefit than claimed. But, Herefordshire Council stubbornly dismissed the report’s findings, and ploughed ahead with the options study for the Western Relief Road presented to Cabinet this month.

When we’re being asked to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on these schemes shouldn’t there be ’robust’ data to substantiate the claimed benefits? Preferably before public money is committed to the design stage, which itself is hardly low-cost.

What I’ve observed in Hereford, and from talking to road campaigners in other areas, is that the economic justification develops a life of its own. Prior studies are cited as though they are evidence – when in reality they are just a previous consultant’s forecast of what might happen. Consultancy and council staff costs mount up as study after study is produced, until it becomes nearly impossible for a decision maker to shut down a project which has by then cost several millions and has delivered nothing to the communities it is meant to benefit. Meanwhile the option to improve travel for residents by other proven means is sidelined.

It’s also puzzling that a definitive business case is not developed as the first stage in the process, instead of at the end. It’s worked up as the project evolves. Rather oddly, the Department for Transport offers to refine the developing business case so it stands a better chance of being approved – by the Department for Transport.

We are talking about huge sums of public money here. At the time of writing, we have another NHS winter crisis, possibly the most serious one yet. Violent crime is at record levels, as police numbers are constrained. Teachers and nurses are leaving their professions in droves. Herefordshire Council has had to raise council tax rates to protect adult social care services. Public services have been squeezed by austerity for nearly ten years, but a new £175m road to bypass Hereford can apparently be developed without a clear idea of what benefits it will bring.

A stab in the dark

The budgeted costs are virtually certain to rise by the time Hereford’s various relief and link roads are built. Some recent major road schemes have gone seriously over-budget:

Norwich Distributor Road – original estimate £148m, forecast £205m

Bexhill to Hastings Link Road – original estimate £24m, forecast £116m

The A3 Hindhead Improvement – original estimate £107m, forecast £371m

The A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton scheme – original estimate £490m forecast £639m

Which means that the ‘value for money’ assessment on which the projects were justified turned out in practice to be highly optimistic. One case I looked had a Benefit Cost Ratio of 16:1 when the scheme was approved, but 5 years after opening, the BCR was assessed as only 4.7:1

Congestion relief

 The consultation report on the Hereford Transport Plan (primarily dealing with the Western Relief Road/Bypass), adopted by Council this month, found unsurprisingly that Hereford residents wanted something done about traffic congestion in the city.

That’s not the same as support for a bypass / relief road. Many other measures are already available to ease congestion and reduce journey times. Most obviously to get people to use their cars less: the Destination Hereford project between 2011 and 2015 proved that car use can be reduced by encouraging people to switch to alternatives, without laying down more tarmac. Easily delivered active travel measures reduce traffic congestion, and with quickly achieved health benefits, almost immediately reduce pressure on the NHS.

Then there is smarter technology to control junctions and give warnings to driver through sat-nav systems of congested points and alternative routes. It’s interesting to note that traffic on Hereford’s Greyfriars Bridge (A49) has only just returned to the same level it was in 2008, measured by average daily vehicle movements. Yet congestion and journey times are considered to be worse. The most likely explanation is that we have more junctions and that they are not being optimally controlled. Not that there are too many vehicles and not enough road.

But has Hereford really got such a serious congestion problem that spending another £175m of public money is valid? Perhaps there is an element of group-think here. People talking up the problem, people getting disgruntled about roadworks and teething problems with other new roads? Dept. for Transport data for 2016 showed that Hereford is by no means an extreme case: “And while Herefordshire drivers may get furious about traffic jams, they are actually delayed less than the majority of England.”

And, because over 80% of car journeys in Hereford are less than 3 miles, the bypass will affect a very small proportion of those journeys.

It’s an open secret that new roads don’t always reduce congestion; in many cases they increase it by inducing traffic. The CPRE ‘End of the Road’ report analysed 13 road schemes in detail for traffic impact and concluded that the new roads generated more traffic. On average, traffic grew 47% more than background levels, with one scheme more than doubling traffic within 20 years. None of the four schemes assessed in the longer-term showed the promised reduction in congestion; all put pressure on adjoining roads.

Have we reached ‘Peak-Car”?

The Hereford bypass is not going to be opened for many years. It would seem prudent to try to understand the likely changes in travel patterns and transport choices over say the next two decades. For example, across the country, car use is not increasing, people are ‘connecting’ instead of travelling.

A huge part of the congestion problem is that so many cars are used for short journeys and have only one occupant. Ideally some people can be persuaded toswitch to non-vehicle modes of transport, but we have to be realistic when it comes to trips of more than a few miles on the county’s narrow and poorly surfaced rural roads. What is also needed is a way to reduce the number of vehicles on the road but allow as many, possibly more, people to travel by vehicle. That is where demand-responsive transport services come in. Instead of bus services with fixed routes and timetables, where the passenger goes to the bus, the reverse happens – the shared vehicle comes to the passenger at the time required. Like a taxi but shared and much cheaper.

Some councils have already started to breathe life into their public transport this way. Essex runs a Demand Responsive Transport service in rural areas. Somerset has ‘Slinky’, Fife has ‘Ring & Ride’, Stirling’s offering is described as a rural taxi service.

Longer term, transport professionals are talking about Mobility as a Service, where among other things, it’s envisaged that travellers who don’t own a car or who don’t want to use it for short journeys will be able to hail a ride using their smartphone, and pick up an autonomous vehicle, ideally one shared with other passengers.

Car dependency

Hereford needs more housing, but what we need to do is ensure that as much as possible is built on brownfield sites and that where new greenfield sites have to be used, the housing schemes are designed from the outset – and controlled by planning conditions – to reduce car-dependency.

Environmental impacts


All roads schemes have harmful effects on the environment. Frequently they are categorised as ‘severe adverse’. Council’s consultants have already advised that the Hereford Western Relief Road will have severe impacts.

Developers carry out mitigation works, like landscaping and tree planting to soften the blow. CPRE’s report, referred to above, concluded that in the majority of cases, the environmental degradation caused by major road schemes is often worse than forecast, and the mitigation works are less effective than forecast.

For example, the Dept for Transport’s 5 year review of the A1 Peterborough to Blyth Grade Separated Junctions scheme, known as Post Opening Project Evaluation (POPE) reported:

  • “Impacts on landscape are worse than expected due to problems with plant growth. Despite replacement planting having being undertaken, the current levels of plant growth and establishment indicate that the visual screening, landscape integration, and visual amenity functions of the plant stock at all junctions is generally considered unlikely to be developing as well as would expected at this stage.
  • Biodiversity impact is worse than expected in the short term due to the ecological impact of the slow establishment of the new tree and shrub planting.

Summary

I’ve set out the main reasons why the Hereford Western Relief Road is a bad idea. When the local economy is struggling to fund essential public services, when congestion is not really as severe as the loudest voices are saying, when smarter travel solutions are emerging, it is absolutely essential that the economic justification for the bypass is prepared thoroughly and openly, and is subject to detailed scrutiny. It is not enough to base the case for the road on vague expectations of economic growth.

The project will take another decade to deliver. In that time, travel in and around Hereford could be improved significantly using other tried and tested solutions. We should not be made to wait.

Rob Palgrave

HEREFORD TIMES TALKING POINT 1 Feb 2018

“The latest consultants report on the ‘Hereford Bypass’ shows just how damaging the road will be. Houses will be demolished, large areas of farmland lost, the setting of historic listed buildings like Belmont Abbey and Belmont Lodge destroyed, and a beautiful landscape ruined.

 What is still not clear is exactly how this road will benefit Herefordshire. There are no specific forecasts of how much traffic congestion and air pollution in Hereford will be reduced. No details of the extra traffic that will be encouraged to use the A49 as a relief for the M5/M6, or to travel between north and south Wales. No hard information on the economic benefits or jobs to be created.

 It is often claimed that new roads are essential to reduce congestion and to boost the local economy.  With so much road building in Britain, there must be clear proof that they work? Actually no – a recent independent report found that of 25 road schemes justified on the basis that they would benefit the local economy, only five had any evidence of positive economic effects.

 Vague justifications like, “businesses are desperate to have a bypass” are not good enough. A new £150m road paid for by someone else – who would object to that?

Aren’t more roads needed because the number of car journeys is always increasing? Wrong again – government’s National Travel Survey shows that car travel per person in the UK has fallen markedly since 2002, and the average annual mileage of a household car was 7,800 miles in 2016 down from 9,200 in 2002.

The same survey shows young people are increasingly less interested in owning a car and getting a licence.

The smart thinking about future travel envisages ‘movement as a service’, ride-hailing, and demand-responsive shared transport. Large-scale road building has had its day. Herefordshire Council should re-assess its plans in the light of real evidence and emerging technologies, and stop spending vast sums on infrastructure that isn’t guaranteed to work, and may be outmoded by the time it is delivered.”

31 Jan: Big Green Conversation – Video talk by George Monbiot

George Monbiot at the Gaia Foundation last year explaining the background to his latest book ‘Out of the Wreckage – a New Politics for an Age of Crisis.’

Followed by discussion – How do we find a “restoration story” for the 21st century to generate real and positive change?

At De Koffie Pot, Left Bank Village, Bridge Street Hereford HR4 9DG

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