BEFORE residents of Knapp Lane and Woodleigh Road get too excited about apparent proposals to make these roads one-way I would urge everybody to sit down and think carefully of the consequences such actions would have on the rest of Ledbury.

It is accepted that Ledbury has a serious traffic problem. It has a population that has more than doubled in 30 years and this has bought about a massive increase in motor car usage, while the basic infrastructure of the town has remained unchanged except for the bypass, which has taken away much of the lorry traffic but has done little to alleviate the car problem.

To randomly close well-used roads to two-way traffic will have an adverse knock-on effect to other parts of Ledbury. The cars will not disappear, as many people think, but will just find another route and so create similar or, more probably, worse traffic-related problems elsewhere.

Moving the problem is not the solution and I would urge caution to all those who perceive that restricting access to certain roads will bring an end to our town's traffic dilemma. DIY surveys do not tell the whole story. Who are these drivers? Why are they using these routes? Are they local or passing through? Would they use public transport if it were available?

Herefordshire Council has said any changes made will be permanent; it will not consider trial solutions, so please, all you campaigners, consider the consequences on the rest of Ledbury before insisting on further one-way systems and other restrictions that may in the long run cause new unforeseen hazards on Ledbury's congested urban streets.

I find it improbable that multiple deaths will result if changes are not made. The figures from Herefordshire Council show only a small number of minor damage only incidents on both roads these past four years.

There are areas in Ledbury, notably the Hereford Road where the 30mph speed limit is exceeded by over 75 per cent of drivers, but neither Herefordshire Council nor the police show any inclination to stop these reckless drivers, despite many calls from myself and other Ledbury town councillors for traffic-calming measures in this area.

Let us address real dangers that will, I am certain, result in loss of life before we attempt to clog up Ledbury's roads with ill-founded schemes that, in the long term, will cause many more of Ledbury's streets to become congested with drivers trying to avoid town centre traffic lights.

Martin Eager, deputy mayor, Northmead, Ledbury.