Ross West county councillor Louis Stark, has proudly backed the successful resurfacing of Kyrle Street, an achievement resulting from an unwavering campaign for better local infrastructure. He attributes this accomplishment to the Market Towns Fund, an initiative specifically established to bolster the development of market towns in the county.
Councillor Stark was instrumental in lobbying for this fund, being an outspoken advocate for Ross amongst other market towns in the area. Ross-on-Wye is expected to receive approximately £200,000 from the fund this year. Councillor Stark has stated that he will continue to champion this cause in the face of an incoming new administration.
Addressing the issue of poor road conditions, Councillor Stark referred to several roads across the region suffering from dilapidated conditions. However, he particularly highlighted the significant improvement seen in Kyrle Street, Ross-on-Wye, thanks to the funding received.
He levelled criticism at the previous county council administration, and questioned why more funds aren't diverted to local infrastructure, citing the disproportionate allocation of resources to Hereford. Councillor Stark believes there's an urgent need to prioritise local communities like Ross, stating that "we represent Ross first, then we represent the county."
In terms of future plans, Councillor Stark wants to put some attention to pedestrian pathways, explaining that the remaining budget for this year will be invested in resurfacing some of the most neglected footpaths around the town. Archenfield Road and a couple of pathways in Walford are amongst the primary targets.
Councillor Stark also hints at some ongoing traffic regulation changes aimed at improving road safety in the town. Kent Avenue, for instance, is set to be a one-way street later this year, in an effort to reduce dangerous turning movements.
Despite these promising developments, the councillor acknowledges that there's a long road ahead. Addressing the need for significant improvement to major thoroughfares like Eddie Cross Street and Old Town Over Ross, he admits that the costs involved may run into millions, extending well beyond the scope of the current Market Towns Fund.
Nonetheless, the councillor remains committed to his mission of enhancing the town's infrastructure, urging for more projects like Kyrle Street to be undertaken.