FRAN Smallwood, a legal clerk in commercial property at Harrison Clark Rickerbys inc Gordon Lutton talks about how Hereford BID is helping visitors find their way in the city:

Getting into Hereford can be a challenge and finding a good spot to park in even more so, though the Old Market development is well signposted, especially from Worcester, Bromyard and all points east.

But Hereford has good road links, as you would expect from a city with such a history – as a market town, it drew farmers from many directions and as a cathedral city, it drew worshippers from quite a distance too.

How to take advantage of those, and ensure that both shoppers and businesspeople can access the city easily, are among the challenges for the BID, which seeks to boost the visibility of the car parks by putting up signs indicating the number of spaces available.

Being able to pay for parking with a mobile phone can also make a real difference to how long people stay in the city – if they find a new area of shops, want to stay on for lunch or decide to buy something just as their parking ticket runs out, they no longer have to rush away.

Once people are in the city, the issue is whether they can find their way around easily – there are plenty of pedestrian signs for visitors looking for the cathedral, and the Old Market is also very easy to find – changes to the street scene are planned to blend the new development and the traditional centre of the city in High Town to give a unified feel.

Meeting the needs of people in cars and those on foot is always a tricky balancing act, but the BID’s focus will help to resolve these issues and open up the city’s future