Tram width
I AM writing regarding the proposal to put a tram way in on the Great Western Way. 
I can see the benefits of it but as a cyclist who uses it regularly I am a bit concerned as to how it will work with the present width. Will it be widened? At peak times, ie school times, it is already very difficult as a cyclist as it is packed with pedestrians.

Phone issues
I read with interest the article about BT and the problems experienced by the people of Halmonds Frome.
Yarpole village has been living with a chaotic situation for the past nine months which shows no sign of abating.
One resident’s phone was cut off for three weeks when her husband was ill in hospital, residents’ lines were taken for new houses, lines have been mixed up , countless people have lost their phone for one to three weeks and broadband has been similarly affected. 
Engineers tell us that the aluminium cables are old and keep breaking whereas at the bottom of the village there is no problem with copper cables.
I have written to our MP and to Gavin Patterson at BT and was fobbed off with a curt e-mail from a complaints officer.. 
There is no mobile signal here and we have a number of vulnerable elderly people with health problems who are living alone.
I must concur with Mr Gardner’s conclusion, supported by one of the engineers, that the return on the investment is not here and they have no interest in solving the problem.
Mrs E.S. Child

Council facts
I write to correct the numerous errors of fact in Neil Thomson’s letter, September 15, concerning a possible tramway in Hereford.  
The City and Herefordshire Councils are completely separate organisations.  The City does not have a deficit and it is not cutting its services. 
The City does not provide refuse collection, street cleaning or highway repair services, they are all with Herefordshire Council.  
The City Council does not support the western relief road and has been very critical of it, however with an eastern route effectively ruled out by European law regarding the site of special scientific interest on the Lugg meadows it is hard to see how a full east side route giving a complete bypass for the A49 could be provided. 
The City Council is encouraging an examination of the possibility of an eastern route which would provide a link for the enterprise zone in Rotherwas to Ledbury Road.  
So far we have spent no money on this at all thanks to professionals and volunteers being willing to work on the early stage of the idea pro bono.  
When we have a formulated plan we will actively consult people in the City and beyond on the eastern side to see how popular, or not, the idea is. 
The tramway is another possible idea for a transport solution, using much lighter weight technology than previous proposals.  It is no-one’s project, no-one has committed to it at the city council, nor indeed at Herefordshire Council. 
Without evidence of strong public support it will not happen.  I think Mr Thomson got the date right, but that’s about the only thing in his letter that was correct.
Steve Kerry
Town Clerk

Visionary plan
I attended the Trams for Hereford meeting and was disappointed to note that there were no Councillors present to hear of this visionary plan for our beautiful City. 
Bearing in mind that 85% of car journeys are made back and forth to the City (not through it), what better way than to provide a super-green, innovative and cost-effective shuttle solution.
The revolutionary trams are lightweight, accessible and energy-efficient and can be mounted on existing railway lines or fitted at ground-level into ingenious pre-caste tram lines blocks. 
This exciting scheme would surely benefit the wider public at a time when bus services are being scrapped to make way for yet more expensive ‘roads-to-nowhere’ construction. 
It is not too late for this council to admit that there are more creative and sustainable ways to tackle congestion and get this County really moving: Hereford could lead the way! 
Today there isn’t a single Councillor who can tell me how much the SLR will actually cost to complete (and they’re already over budget on the Relief Road!) so clearly it’s time they had the courage to seize this opportunity and explore superior ideas where all public visiting our city can benefit.
Kate Sharp

Sheep tragedy
Your front page article regarding the ‘slaughter’ of 37 sheep by two out-of-control dogs, was absolutely shocking. 
Our hearts must go out to Tom Hadley, the young farmer whose hard work raising sheep over the past few years has been totally destroyed.
I don’t know what we can do to help him, but maybe an appeal through the pages of the Hereford Times would be a start? 
I’m currently urging the Council to produce some information warning dog owners to take care and to be extra vigilantwhen walking their dogs in the vicinity of sheep and other livestock, and of the terrible consequences to everyone involved if something similar happens again.
Cllr Bruce Baker
Herefordshire Council
Hampton Ward

Kitchen woes

I appreciate Mr Grover’s supportive letter about our planning difficulties. But I wrote about the case, as a matter of public interest, only after exhausting all possibilities for admitting more light and less wind and rain into our kitchen. My appeal was refused.
Like Mr Grover, before moving here I was used to a system in which we elected councillors considered all applications; usually we decided them in line with council officers’ advice, but sometimes we insisted on letting common sense override professional planners’ strange ideologies. In the Herefordshire system that cannot happen.
A final irony is that if we had been allowed our porch and window, no-one off our property could ever have seen either.
R. Sampson (prof)

Badger cull
You report Bill Wiggin’s preposterous claim that culling “infected” badgers in Herefordshire would help protect uninfected badgers elsewhere.
Mr Wiggin is sadly misinformed. The cull does not target infected badgers. 
Indeed, it does not even require the testing of badgers for disease either before or after killing them.
Instead, it requires indiscriminate culling of 70% of badgers in a specified area.
In doing so, it risks causing movement in badger populations which, if they are carrying infection, would only serve to spread the disease further. the folly of this approach is compounded by the fact that there are other wildlife reservoirs of the disease and most transmission occurs cattle to cattle not wildlife to cattle. 
Mr Wiggin needs to get his facts straight.
Andrew Wood
Retired Natural England Executive Director Bishops Castle

Phone fraud
You report an elderly woman was scammed by fraudsters obtaining access to her computer and then bank accounts. 
Following me phoning BT in June which went to a BT India call centre, I have over a two month period had eight calls from an India call centre claiming to be Openreach, and that they have detected a virus on my computer. 
Each time the same 0205148759 number came up. Knowing Openreach are not an ISP and it was very obviously a fraudulent call, I rang the Police on 101. 
They were not interested and referred me to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. My call to them was supposedly answered within 5 minutes, but 15 minutes later remained unanswered.
I then found an email address for Openreach who did ring me back, heard about the scam and certainly put a stop to the calls to me.
Beware – there is a new scam now ‘Energy Network Testing’ who ring on 02038616380. 
They need to visit your house, but more worryingly know your name, house number post code. Can this one be nipped in the bud quickly?
Tony Wilcox 

Street lights
ONCE more your readers’ letters pages take the old, old story that never really make front page news, however we can be sure of one thing; these letters make their own news week by week.
We have recently seen our Mayor is concerned about the fortunes of Hereford, in short if the “Crazy Gang” showed the same concern we could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and as I said recently this council could do with a break.
If they followed a few hints from the readers’ letters pages this could do themselves a power of good.
There is one thing that is really in need of attention and that is street lighting in general, there are street lights that never seem to go out. 
This must be someone’s responsibility so there is a start for someone.
In the Tesco bus pull-in there is a roundabout with a huge tree in the middle, and there for all to see is a street light hidden in the leaf from this tree. 
Along with this, I notice street lighting all over the city that remains alight day and night. 
The evidence is there for all to see, this could be resolved so easily and would most likely cut the cost of lighting, and save the energy we are so often reminded about. 
This council would relive criticism if the simple things were dealt with. 
I go along Barrs Court Road towards College Road and find a drain full up of leaf and all sorts of waste have blocked this drain to road level, and there are many more to be found all over town, and city centre. 
There really is much more to be desired of this council. Our Mayor tells us his concerns, should our council take a tip from His Worship the Mayor. 
So to close this letter, there is some hope that His Worship the Mayor could have a word in someone’s ear and maybe the points I have outlined could be resolved. 
We have here in Hereford the opportunity to provide for this city a future we would all be proud of. 
There are many good letters to be found on the readers’ letters pages of this newspaper, is it just possible that these readers will share in our future and compliment this council for taking into account public opinion and hopefully see some of these councillors return to office. 
Surely there must be some of these people who may share our Mayor’s concerns.

After Brexit 
Maja Storey (Letters, September 1) writes of the “alarming aftermath of the Brexit vote” and suggests “those voting Remain are the peacemakers and those voting Brexit of denying the continent of which we are part”. 
The letter then quotes “anti-immigrant actions following the vote”, and her nightmare memories of being forced to flee Germany and come to the UK as a refugee before 1939.
One might ask to which alarming aftermath she refers? Without being in any way facetious, it could be said that it is only because Britain is NOT part of Europe the lady was able to find refuge here. 
Is the Europe to which she refers the same one from which De Gaulle was rescued, given refuge, housed, re-armed, re-equipped and returned to his homeland, following the UK`s single-handed defiance of Hitler from this very same island? 
The same European homeland from which the ungrateful French leader then spent decades making strenuous efforts in his self-proclaimed hatred for this country, in preventing the UK from joining what was then the Common Market?
 When one considers the the decades of Terrorist atrocities faced in the UK and by our troops in Ulster; more recently the horrors of the London bombings and the awful, gruesome killing of the off-duty soldier, all of which have been followed by a virtually complete lack of any ‘aftermath’ or retaliation, 
Mrs. Storey’s “alarm” appears unjustified. Possibly, even after so many years amongst us, Mrs. Storey has more to learn about the British.
Ron Hill

Exit terms
The Referendum asked whether we wished to leave the EU, not whether we wished to leave subject to voting again in a second Referendum or a general election to accept the EU’s exit terms. In the latter circumstances, the EU would have a clear incentive to impose harsh terms in an attempt to change our decision, and if despite that we again voted to leave, we would be stuck with them.
Idris Francis

Research aim 
It is argued that there are many medical charities which do not use animals in their research. 
If you were to check, you would see that charities that do not use animals are generally those providing things like care for cancer patients, not researching the causes and cures for cancer. 
Animals remain essential to medical, veterinary and environmental research.
Chris Magee
Understanding Animal Research