I OFFER my support to Herefordshire Council plans to bring temporary changes to our market towns and city as I believe it can mark the first step in a more positive development of our county.

Through lowing speed limits, providing cycle lanes and widening footpaths Hereford and the market towns can provide safe, inviting, creative and prosperous high streets.

A key finding from the Covid-19 pandemic has been the link between poor air quality and deaths (Brandon, 2020).

All the evidence suggests that to ensure safety we must keep air pollution as low as possible.

We need to encourage cycling, walking and lowing speed limits for this to happen in Herefordshire.

RELATED NEWS: Big changes mooted for town centres in Herefordshire

This is needed here and everywhere to combat this pandemic of deaths due to poor air quality.

Coming out of lockdown and re-booting the economy is an opportunity to re-think.

Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England and now UN special envoy on climate action, has previously spoken about the requirement of the whole economy transitioning to achieve net-zero by 2050.

He suggests this could turn an existential risk into the greatest commercial opportunity of our lifetime (Carny, 2020).

If Herefordshire can be pro-active and utilise the emergency funds to create an economic structure or model based on achieving net-zero its transition will be smooth and less costly long term.

However, if we miss this opportunity and don’t welcome change the price will be higher to pay when change is enforced upon us.

I have seen first-hand the changing high streets with the current numerous shops unoccupied for long periods of time.

But this is a reflection of the changing society and culture, to ensure they thrive again and thus support a new generation change is needed.

In an article for small business, Jorden (2019) utilises suggestions from commercial finance experts ABC Finance to highlight the possible future being one where a high street has more food and drink choices, concept stores, more green spaces, more activities etc.

Through embracing development Herefordshire can become a leader in the modern high street and the associated economic opportunities.

Adam Jeffery