The hidden routes of Hereford that could be brought back into use

former railways and waterways of Hereford, which could be brought back into use <i>(Image: Google Street View)</i>
former railways and waterways of Hereford, which could be brought back into use (Image: Google Street View)

Disused and now little-known transport routes in Hereford could be brought back as walking and cycle paths or as corridors for nature under new proposals.

The Hereford Masterplan, on which work has just begun, is looking for the public’s views on several broad ideas for “greening” the city, including repurposing former stretches of railway, canal and brook which are now largely invisible in the modern city.

Among them is a stretch of the Hereford to Abergavenny Railway which used to run to the west of the city centre. Some of this, as the Great Western Way, is already used as a cyclepath. But a hatched section on a map accompanying the new proposals shows it extending northwards, under the A49 Newtown Road, to meet the existing line north of Burcott Road.

From this another former line, the Hereford, Hay and Brecon Railway, used to run westwards from between the current Bulmers/Heineken plant and Hereford Lads Club FC. Some of the bed of this track is now invisible under later industrial development south of Grandstand Road, but it can still be seen in undeveloped areas.

Also now largely invisible in the city is the former Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal, which used to loop northeast from what is now the Station Medical Centre, while natural watercourses such as the Yazor and Ayles brooks are mostly culverted or otherwise hidden from view.

These could be brought back as “pocket parks, wildlife corridors and active travel links”, the new consultation suggests.

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The protected Lugg corridor east of the city could meanwhile become “an accessible green space for sensitive access to and exploration of nature that serves the whole of Hereford”, the masterplan proposes.

It also seeks views on the idea of raising tree cover in the city from the current 15 per cent, slightly below the UK urban average, to 25 per cent, through planting woods, orchards and street trees.

The proposals can be viewed and commented on here.

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