Posted by: swinemoor | December 27, 2013

Beverley Southern Bypass

Work on this is now well underway as the Beverley Guardian reported on the 22 November 2013, however, as this blog has long maintained, is this road in reality in the wrong place?

There has long been concern about the location of this road, indeed John Duncan wrote to the Beverley Guardian on this issue in 2007, well before the ERYC ‘directed’ the PCT to build the new hospital on Swinemoor Lane and before Aldi moved into the old Right Car site.

Bypass options

Figure 1 © Google maps 2013

Many in the town question the need for this road which will only increase congestion on Swinemoor Lane, where much development is already being directed. A look at some maps may prove instructive.

In Figure 1 you can see the rough route of the new Southern Relief Road is shown in red. This needs to run across low-lying, flood-prone land and cross the railway to reach the A1174. It is this road that is currently being built at a cost of £22m. Where is the traffic that will use this new road likely to come from? Is it from the West side of the town? Unlikely, most traffic from this side of the town will still go through the town centre to reach Aldi, Wickes or the Folly on the Lane. The North and East sides are relatively unaffected in terms of traffic flow. What about traffic from Hull? If they wish to reach the new developments proposed at Flemingate and Grovehill as well as the existing development on Swinemoor Lane, then they will use the Hull Road, A1174. This only leaves traffic from the Southwest side of the town, i.e the Lincoln Way, Poplars Way and Normandy Avenue areas.  Seems like a lot of money is being spent to benefit a relatively small proportion of the population and no credence at all has been given to the residents of the Swinemoor area – no change there then!

The southern route also takes in a much richer variety of habitats, including remains of ancient countryside, wet grasslands, permanent pasture, copses, palaeochannels and ridge and furrow grasslands. You can see these for yourself in Figure 2 below which covers almost the entire new road route.

S Bypass land use

Figure 2 © Google Maps 2013

The value of this habitat in biodiversity terms is very high, especially in a part of the country that is primarily an arable desert. However, it is across this area that the new bypass is being built, further dissecting the matrix of habitats in the area and damaging its biodiversity value. It will also destroy its amenity value ensuring future generations will not enjoy the benefits that we have.

N Bypass land use

Figure 3 © Google Maps 2013

To the North of the town the situation is very different. If a bypass were to be built here (as was originally proposed!) then traffic would be taken around the town along Grange Road and would avoid the bottleneck at Swinemoor Lane altogether. This was much the most sensible option from both a local residents and wildlife point of view. The habitat matrix along the blue line in Figure 1 is purely arable land – one of the poorest wildlife habitats we have in the UK as it is cropped annually and dosed with liberal amounts of fertilisers and pesticides. You can see the land use along the route in Figure 3.

Why is it that only the southern route has been taken forward? It makes no sense unless, as with the siting of the ‘cottage’ hospital, there are other drivers which we, the local residents, are unaware of, i.e. they have not been made public. There are hints in this direction. For instance Brian Darvell writing in the Beverley Guardian on 1 November 2013 wonders why the residents of Lakeminster Park are being evicted yet their elected representatives are doing nothing to support them. This letter and the opaque reasoning behind the southern bypass route and its debauching into the already overloaded Swinemoor Lane, as well as the hospital debacle, leads one to suspect that decisions are being taken in secret with the open fora being merely used to rubber-stamp them. This is not very democratic but when you have a de-facto one party state in the Riding with our so-called representatives feeling that they are answerable to no-one, this is the inevitable result.

Well, at least you cannot accuse ERYC of being short-termist!


  1. […] more isolated (a more distant island in effect) from the grasslands to the South as a result of the construction of the new Southern Relief Road (which itself has fragmented a large area of semi-natural grassland to the south of the town). Hurn […]

  2. […] for the construction of a sub-standard hospital on flood-prone land, the loss of street trees, the building of a new bypass nobody wants and the piece by piece damage to the countryside and wildlife surrounding the town. All of this […]

  3. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is an issue that too few folks are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something concerning this.

    • Thanks for the feedback: it is appreciated and we don’t get a lot of it, sadly.

      One worrying thing is how quiet it has gone on this front since the last blog post. Experience dictates that this normally means there is a lot of plotting going on behind the scenes at ERYC. Eventually, after investing many hours of lawyers’ time on the problem, ERYC will come back with another cunning, Baldrick-like, plan.

      We are sure that they will: after all they seem to really enjoy wasting public money trying to get their way. They could just talk to people but that would be too simple!

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