City is dying
I NOTE with interest Jonathan Cook’s very relevant comments regarding parking meters and heartily support his point of view.
It is refreshing to read submissions that do not “attack” sections of the community, only suggest possible solutions.
The situation in the centre of our city is grave.  Under threat are traditional businesses who have been part of our fabric for decades, even centuries.
Recent events regarding road patterns seem to encourage footfall away from the city centre rather than tempting people to visit, shop and browse.
Businesses are tending to gather closer to the ancient centre and abandoning the peripheries.
As Jonathan states, utilising space above shops has been an unsolved problem for decades.
With reference to Broad Street, King Street and Bridge Street, in early August, mid afternoon I parked in Broad Street with ease.  When I moved round to King Street I was shocked to find that it was virtually empty of vehicles and pedestrians.
What hope for traders if parking meters were installed?
Many of our business folk have supported community events which without their help may well have not taken place.
Yes, our city is dying.  The Internet does not help and is beyond our control.
This grieves me enough but please let us support those who have served and are serving us so well.
Leslie M H Andrews
Mayor of Hereford 1996/7
Eau Withington

Meter disaster
FURTHER to Jon Cook’s  letter in the Hereford Times (Think again, 31.8.17), I could not agree more that the proposed parking meters in Hereford would be a disaster for the city. 
There are so many reasons why the scheme should not go ahead.
The actual cost of installation will be huge, how long will the scheme take to pay for itself?
The changes proposed to how councils will be funded, starting within five years, will rely on businesses paying business rates to provide a large proportion of their funding. This system is going to have to rely on well-established, family-run enterprises thriving in the city stimulated by development of residential opportunities that must be allowed to begin as soon as possible.
Local government has to look at these decisions with a market-driven view and change the mindset quickly.
Thriving market towns such as Ledbury and Pershore limit on-street parking to 45 minutes and the ‘nip in’ culture means local traders have a constant stream of customers. 
The streets in Hereford affected by these proposals offer that same market. 
An approach should be taken that encourages higher numbers, not one that taxes their potential customers.
Comparing the idea to Cheltenham is to completely miss the market and environment that separates the two different cities, this is a market-square environment with locally run businesses in properties predominantly owned by local families employing local people. 
The absolute starting point for what local government should be striving to protect for the future of the city.
I hope as many businesses as possible contact their MP and councillors to object to these proposals.
Woolhope Parish Council

Keeping alert
I DO hope the plan for a contraflow cycle route in Mill Street has been abandoned. 
You have only to watch for a short while before seeing a cyclist taking a short cut against traffic flow there, but at least they know it is illegal and so may be fairly alert to the danger. 
The danger would remain if the cycle route were built, because there is no room for motorists to see cyclists emerging from Green Street in time, and motor traffic there, particularly during the school run, can be very busy. 
Once a cycle route is built, cyclists use it without thought of danger: you have only to look at the two-way route in King Street to see what happens. 
Motorists from Aubrey Street pausing to turn right into King Street are beset by teenage cyclists who, on “their” route, hurtle from left and right regardless of other road users. Such cyclists are prone to take short cuts against traffic flow, as is frequent in Broad Street. They are safer being alert because they know they are taking a chance, than they would be if it were made legal.
Dormington Drive   


Relevant facts
I reply to Allan Johnson’s letter (August 24) where he quotes irrelevant facts in relation to the EU referendum. The facts are that 51.9% of voters voted to leave the EU and 48.1% voted to remain. This gives a difference of 3.8% in favour of the leave voters not the 2% he quotes. None of the other facts he quotes are relevant.
Allan Johnson says that this is not the will of the British people. A 3.8% winning margin looks like the will of the British people to me.
I have not heard an intelligent reason for Great Britain to remain in the EU. 
I asked a lady I knew why she wanted to remain. Her puerile answer was “because we need somebody to pick the strawberries.” This sums up remainers. Either flippant answers or forecasts of doom and gloom. 
Constitutionally the referendum vote was decisive and binding and not just advisory. The referendum  mandated the government to exercise its legal power to give notice under article 50.
Roy Mack

It’s an outrage
I WAS outraged to learn that the money raised for Ludlow Hospital by a group of men dressed as nurses was refused by the chief executive of the Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust. 
I am a registered nurse myself and felt, as did many of my colleagues, that this attitude was political correctness gone mad and should not have been accepted by the board. 
How can you have an individual with such narrow-minded views in such a position of authority? 
Dressing up as nurses to most is not derogatory, it’s a fun, good-humoured way to attract attention in order to raise funds for a worthwhile cause. 
Well done boys, you looked great and shame on those for not appreciating your good work.
Yvonne Walke

As predicted
I DECIDED to try and cross the Lugg Flats today (Sunday, September 3) as, and with the extra week I predicted they would over-run, it was supposed to be open. 
When I spoke to someone with a high-vis jacket sitting in a car at the Cock of Tupsley end of the flats I was told it would be at least Wednesday, Thursday, or maybe next week before it would be opened. 
I was challenged with “did I appreciate how complex this work was?” 
Yes I do, was my answer. 
Then he said the council hadn’t allowed them enough time to do the work. Uh!
Why wasn’t it surveyed properly before the cable was laid? I was born a few hundred yards from the Lugg Flats and I knew there are culverts under the road. If the cables and their support structures were laid at the correct depth the culverts would need strengthening or rebuilding – so why do we accept this nonsense. 
Rather than go on moaning about WPD and Hereford Council taking the mickey out of commuters and businesses I suggest that all of you who have incurred costs (mine is around an extra 300 miles via the detours) including the bus companies, the Crown and Anchor and Bartestree Stores that have lost passing trade send an invoice to Jane Rawlings, Western Power Distribution, Unit 1 Skylon View, Rotherwas Industrial Estate Hereford, HR2 6LB for the extra costs they have incurred. 
Apologies for incompetence are cheap, particularly from a company who have a monopoly on electricity distribution!

More delays
THE proposed diversion of heavy southbound traffic from the A49 to Aylestone Hill looks set to cause the worst gridlocks that Hereford has ever seen, and this has been the case for well over two months. 
School and college traffic already causes delays on Aylestone Hill. 
Do the decision-makers really know these roads?
Perhaps there is no alternative, although the comment that the closure allows the work to be completed in the optimum amount of time suggests that another option might have been possible. 
I wonder if any attempt has been made to estimate the cost of the delays now to be shared by thousands of road users.
At the very least, more could be done to inform the public. 
Will the traffic lights at the bridge on Roman Road be adjusted to cater for the increased one-way flow? 
Will there be temporary lights at the Venns Lane junction with Aylestone Hill, where crossing traffic has the right of way? Will there still be restrictions where the Station Approach meets Commercial Road? 
Will subsequent traffic lights also be adjusted? 
All in all, has this been thought through?

Three words
THIS letter is all about “Three Little Words” and it will sum up the situation we are in here in Hereford. 
Pollution, Pollution, Pollution, Congestion, Congestion, Congestion, Chaos, Chaos, Chaos. 
Those few words tell us all about Hereford at the present time. Sadly it has been this way for some 60 years, and that was when our council gave us a “Ring Road” repeat “Ring Road” which was against the advice of the senior police officer at the time. So that really sums up our lives here in Hereford.
I remember clearly the late 1960s. As was then we still need the “bypass” and we have never seen any action taken on that matter.
The chaos is being added to with this stupid link road to the railway station to the congestion on Aylestone Hill and Commercial Road. There is still the volume of traffic on Edgar Street and the Tesco roundabout which will never be resolved in its present state, so is the answer to be found in public opinion? 
If so, I do not recall the public ever being asked their views on this matter, so maybe the time has come to give us a chance to speak up. 
Pollution in our city must be way off the radar screen, in my opinion. So it all adds up to a “Bypass at the end of the day”. 
Street lighting is another question to look at and that huge tree in the middle of Tesco bus station. There are lights covered by the foliage of this tree that should be given priority to save energy that we hear is in short supply. There is much left to be desired of this council. 
To close this letter in my observations I ask only that someone will pay a little attention to my comments and show us that these are worth a little attention. I would like to end with these words “Harold and June are still looking for Judy”.
Barrs Court Road

Stay there
I SEE that the overspend building in Blueschool Street is almost finished. 
Can we now hope that Herefordshire Council have moved these offices for the last time, Garrick House, Franklin Barnes and now Cost-a-lot Building. If they wish to move again I know of a lot of pot holes they can move into.
Golden Post


Smarten up
THE city is being smartened up, but what for?
Lots of empty shops, can they not have a change of use to residential dwellings. The outskirts of the city are a mess, the gutters have weeds growing really high, young trees can be seen growing out of drains.  Some residents do clear the gutters by their properties. 
Trees that were planted years ago, are now so big and thick that natural light is being blocked out of  houses.
When we get high winds, the top branches, break off and are everywhere. 
The lower branches hang over footpaths, and roads in places, so when it rains you get a shower when walking.
Could the cabinet member for transport and roads look into why so many motorists are parking at night, not facing the direction of the traffic flow? I thought it was an offence to park on a junction or bend.
Also is there not weight limit and length for vehicles parking on estates? Sometimes places look like car parks. It must make it difficult for bus drivers and delivery vans to negotiate in some places.

Back appeal
THE Royal British Legion will once again be running the Poppy Appeal and from October 28 to November 12 poppies will be available for sale from the Town Hall at the front desk in the foyer. 
We hope to raise more than ever to support his excellent cause and remember those who gave their lives for their country and community in conflicts all over the world, as well as supporting those who through injury or bereavement continue to suffer. 
Visitors to the Town Hall are asked to support the appeal as generously as they have in previous years.
Town Clerk
St Owen Street