I HAVE read and heard motorists’ objections that the lanes of tree planters on major roads near Hereford city centre retard motor traffic flows. How about a pedestrian’s viewpoint?

I recently got off the Zipper bus at the Station Medical Centre bus stop and was pleasantly amazed by the reduced difficulty in crossing to the other side in stages, as opposed to waiting for the pelican lights by the railway station to go green or jumping the lights as a pedestrian. The lanes for tree planters reduce the distance involved in each crossing.

And as for the cost of the tree planters: if they are central government-approved and their funding is only available via central government while local authority funds have been slashed, perhaps while locals are distracted by year-on-year council tax rises, market forces and monopolistic supply lead someone to ‘laugh all the way to the bank’?


Talking of ‘monopolies’, immediately before sending this letter, I received news of the idea of replacing Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefit with a voucher system.

That proposal echoes the BBC’s April 3, 2000 announcement that asylum seekers would receive vouchers to buy food and clothes.

That was under a Labour government, yet there are also echoes of the observation that how governments treat asylum seekers sheds light on how they would like to treat their most vulnerable of citizens, if they could get away with it. And of course, billionaire Rishi Sunak recently declared an end to ‘sick note culture’.

What are your thoughts?

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The UN Disability Committee has declared that the UK government has made “no significant progress” in the more than seven years since it was found guilty of “grave and systematic” violations of the UN disability convention, and warns of a “pervasive framework and rhetoric that devalues disabled people and undermines their human dignity” and says that benefit reforms are painting disabled people as “skiving off ”

and “defrauding the system”.

However the Government’s own minister for disabled people has refused to explain why she shared a social media post describing disability benefit reforms as “dangerous” and accused ministers of “demonising” disabled people.