AM I the only one to notice that, not only are the council increasing the parking charges at Merton Meadow by 50%, but at the same time they are extending the chargeable hours from 6pm-10pm?

Whilst it is good to see that charges in both Friars Street and St Martins will be coming down, it is noted that the chargeable hours in these will also be extended to make sure that anyone who comes into town in the evening to spend their hard-earned cash will have to pay to park.

One can only assume that this is a direct result of the opening of the new shopping and entertainment centre in the old cattle market area.

Do the councillors not realise that to extend the charging hours from 6pm to 10pm will not just have an affect on those attending the new cinema, food outlets etc?

It will also affect many pub and club teams who play games such as darts and skittles, who will now also be subject to this parking fee every week.

This will undoubtedly have an adverse effect on those attending, which in turn will reduce income for pubs and clubs.

Do the council not realise that the centre of Hereford needs to have people coming to it to provide the life blood to all the businesses within the central area, not just the nationals and multinationals who can offer parking for free at their supermarket locations?

It makes one wonder what the logic behind the decisions is.

Bank holidays, by the way, which used to be a time when we could all park for free and spend all our hard-earned cash in town, will now be subject to parking fees from 8am to 10pm.

If I were really cynical, I would see as most opportune that these charges were communicated to the public during a bank holiday weekend, when the likely response to it would perhaps be at its lowest.

RAY WESTON Stretton Sugwas