Not so patient
IT seems the local hospital is sending people to the Hereford Wetherpoons for sustenance. 
What a wonderful idea. 
Sadly I’m not apologising for my inconvenience with all that bed blocking of the aisles. 
Aylestone Hill, Hereford 

Hereford Times:

No backlash
I AM surprised that there has not been an outcry against the introduction of on street parking meters for the centre of Hereford. 
I am the chairman of the High Town Taxi Group and if I was being selfish I might be rubbing my hands together for the extra trade that this is likely to bring to taxis. But my first concern is for the well being of the city of Hereford. 
How is it possible that the cabinet member for streets and transport has a heavy business interest in a local taxi group? 
Isn’t that a blatant conflict of interests? 
Reverse a street, close a street, taxis are affected. 
Anyone with one, let alone two or three hackney licences clearly has a vested interest in anything to do with local transport. 
Although the introduction of on-street parking charges in the city centre might bring in extra revenue for taxis in the short term in the longer term it is likely to adversely affect shops and businesses that are already struggling to exist and we will have more shops boarded up. 
The prosperity of the city will suffer and that, in time, will hit everyone, including the taxi trade.
John Jones
High Town Taxis

Little Birch 
Faith restored
I WOULD like to express my gratitude and thanks to the kind and honest person who found my wallet and handed it in to Sainsbury’s petrol station staff. 
It has restored my faith in human nature.
Les Roberts

Trade impact
WERE you aware that all Blue Badge Holders are at complete liberty to park in any on street restricted area (eg 30 mins) with no time limit whatsoever? 
I think the council and your paper should publicise this, after all, the traders might have some views on how this could impact on their trade. 
Jesse Norman passed a letter from Andrew Jones MP (Department of Transport) clearly explaining this little-known fact. 
Already we are seeing the signs in Ross of how central on-street parking areas are being used as a unrestricted car park.
Andrew Meek
Broad Street
Ross on Wye

Ticket fine
WE went with friends to have lunch at the Courtyard and watch a film during the Borderlines Film Festival. 
Our friends paid £3 at the ticket machine at the Courtyard. 
We also paid £3 but the machine kept rejecting the final coin. 
My husband exchanged the coin and the machine accepted it and issued a ticket, except that it only registered £1 whilst keeping the previous £2. This meant that on emerging from the theatre we were confronted with a £70 fine. 
However, when describing this incident to another friend she described how, in the same car park, she had had a similar incident and was very cross as the machine had swallowed all her change. 
It made me wonder how many machines cannot tolerate delays in the money being fed into them, as will happen when a coin is rejected or someone is searching through their change or is simply slow. 
As many machines do not issue change there seems to be no way of auditing this. 
There must be a way of finding out if a particular machine generates more than the average number of parking fines. 
Have other readers had a similar experience?

Pothole woes
I FREQUENTLY bicycle south and west of Hereford, and the condition of secondary roads has now become completely unacceptable. 
Some routes have become little more than cart tracks. 
Verges have collapsed and are often non-existent, deep potholes (deadly to a bicycle), cracks and worn surfaces are everywhere. 
The only safe place for a bicycle is often the middle of the road, which is obviously not desirable. 
Under the Highways Act 1980 the council has a duty of care to ensure that carriageways are kept in good condition. 
At the moment they are clearly failing in this. 
I am aware that money is tight, but if the state of a road causes an accident or other damage, and the victim sues the council, it will become even tighter. 
It is no good hoping the problem will go away on its own. County-wide repairs are urgently required.
Ian Murray-Watson

Strange forces
YOUR readers should be aware that the strange and mystic forces of the fabled Tenbury Triangle have been very active with unexplained happenings of late. 
Paranormal activity has been recorded within the area bounded by the Tenbury Triangle’s three points, namely The Peacock, The Fountain and The Rose and Crown. 
I have visited all three and on leaving each establishment I have been aware that supernatural influences have caused me to have slurred speech and a stumbling gait.
As with The Bermuda Triangle many ships have disappeared, not one has been seen passing under Tenbury’s Teme bridge and the bus stop has silently slid 100 yards along Teme Street from the Regal to the TSB. 
Items have mysteriously disappeared from my home. 
I have recently lost a plug spanner, the top off my hot water bottle and a couple of quid on The Grand National.
The strangest phenomenon of all is the ghostly apparition I saw on the site of the old town market. This glimmering edifice of ectoplasm turns out to be a portal for time travel. 
I was able to actually step into it and receive a foretaste of what Tenbury life will be like when the 21st century arrives here.
A bit far fetched if you ask me.
Newnham Bridge

A local at last
I CAME to live in Herefordshire when in my mid-20s and thought I’d remain an outsider for ever. 
But then, last night I dreamt of Hereford by-pass. 
At last I must have become a real Herefordian. 
Joy: this is my home!
In my dream I was standing on the high ground near Callow gazing north to the distant Holmer Church. Everything looked kind of, well, many years’ ago. By my side stood a serious looking bloke smoking a fat cigar and wearing a top hat… none other than Mr Isambard Kingdom Brunel. 
He cast his own eyes in the same direction and slowly blew out a long waft of thick, pungent smoke. 
Turning to face me he carefully said: “We’ll dig a bloody great tunnel chum; start next week on Monday and be done ‘ere Christmastime!”
Then, as dreams go, his image disappeared, to be replaced by an older yet still boisterous old boy with unkempt wispy white hair, and a droopy moustache. 
He was frantically scratching away at a blackboard with stick of chalk and producing what looked to me to be sets of complicated mathematical formulae, each with a result at the end and underlined twice. 
Albert Superbrain Einstein himself!
“Mein Gott!” he exclaimed, “Donner und Blitzen!” (This must have been before every proper scientist spoke English or Albert had moved to America). 
He went on: “Mit all die Bypass Muddleshift uber Decaden seit 1960s, die Costen von lost Business, Disruptung und Timewastegung, nicht to mention die Alten Volk und Kinder choking mit die diesel Pollutionshaft im Bath Strasse, Sie could have builten ein Bypass both Siden dem City - und a doppelt Tunnel unterground von Ross nach Leominster - und still haben millions of dein Englisher Pounds im Wechselchange fur dem verdamm Pot-holen!”
After waking I remained somewhat dazed as I struggled downstairs to collect this week’s HT, just delivered and lying on the doormat. 
Headlines: the county MPs don’t really want a bypass anyway and the council are absolutely convinced that their plan to secure the dosh from HM Government is about to become reality. 
Fake news: relief! It’s 2017. Not-hing changes. All’s well at home.

Can I remain?
HEREFORD Times readers have written pro and against Brexit.  
I have a question for them.  
According to my passport I am a citizen of the European Union.  
My passport is due for renewal in 2019.  
It seems that I will soon be stripped of my status as an EU citizenship.  Is this legal?  
Can I apply to the EU to remain an EU citizen?  

It’s rubbish
I HAVE been shocked to see the amount of rubbish littering our city in recent weeks, in particular the areas around entrances to the city, such as the Eign Gate subway and the footpath that leads from the Asda supermarket along the river to the Old Wye Bridge.
If Hereford is adamant that it wishes to become a fore runner for the city of culture title, then it really needs to up it’s game. 
Maybe our mayor Mr Kenyon could ‘dance’ his way from the town hall to these areas of the city and come up with a plan to tidy up the centre of Hereford before we lose out on the title.
Helen Morris
Yazor Road

Awaiting reply
I WORRY that in your report of the Breinton meeting the council spokesman said: “The western by-pass needs to happen.” 
Readers should know the ‘consultations’ on the Hereford Area plan and Transport package close on May 19. 
Documents and display are at Hereford Library and helpfully staffed on Wednesday afternoons. I also find the council website easy to use and was grateful that the FAQ download is written in plain English.
It seems to me that basic mistakes were made in 2011. 
It is then that there should have been open consideration of needs and costs. 
I believe that there can be no informed opinion unless there is rigorous analysis of accuracy and effectiveness. 
I am still waiting for a response for my concerns over the costs and adequacy of the last Holme Lacy road traffic consultation. 
The figures are not credible.
Wordy statements of intentions just fog my brain. 
Blanket numbers of houses demanded by central government are no analysis of Herefordshire’s needs. 
You report the affordable housing scheme is to be dropped for lack of investment. 
This upsets me.
I believe We need greater vision, exam-ining Herefordshire as a whole. But it must be based on detailed examination of facts and open discussion. John Bottomley’s suggestion of an Urban Room would make a good start.