Tram scheme

SOME years ago I suggested a similar tram scheme for Hereford in these columns. It seemed rather utopian, especially as my target date was misprinted as the following year! I was more ambitious because I sought to meet the problem of ‘the school run’. If the route could circle through College Road to Venns Lane and Folly Lane, it would link up several schools and colleges, relieving the car parking problems for the colleges. But of course, it makes sense to use the existing rail tracks and older students could still walk down from Folly Lane to Barrs Court. I commend the work that Gareth Davies and Pre-Metro Operations are doing. Radical thinking may yet produce a realistic and affordable scheme.


Pothole hell

ON SEPTEMBER 7, I was taken to the A&E in Hereford by way of the A49 in an ambulance. I was in pain but the state of the road made it twice as bad and it was quite frightening. If I had been a frail old person I don’t think I would be here to talk about it, even the ambulance driver was apologising about the potholes. May I suggest that those on the council responsible for spending millions of tax-payers’ money on a road to nowhere take a ride down the A49 in an ambulance!!! On the other hand I would like to say a very big thank you to all the staff in A&E, especially to Emma the nurse in charge of Units 1-5 in the RAA. Despite have a constant flow of patients she made a point of keeping me comfortable between tests. It made me aware of how stretched the NHS is when she was working a 14-hour shift.

MRS J FOYLE Kingsland

Tractor drivers

I READ with interest the letter penned by Mr Biddlecombe regarding tractors on the road. While I agree there is a small minority of tractor drivers who will not pull in, the vast majority do what they can to assist the easy movement of traffic. I raise a couple of points. Firstly, the places where a tractor is allowed to pull in are few and far between. You would be surprised how frustrating it can be when you realise the traffic is building up but can find nowhere to pull safely off the road without contravening the law. Secondly, very often the vehicle causing the problem is not so much the tractor but the car that sits right behind and just refuses to put their foot down and get by when the opportunity arises. Most tractor drivers, when they come to a long straight, will slow right down and give cars a chance to get by but it is surprising how many car drivers will slow down behind them and still not pass, thus causing a blockage to the vehicles behind them. Thirdly, the law needs looking at. Modern tractors are capable of speeds of up to 50 mph and are very well equipped to do it safely, however the law restricts them to 20 mph. There are many bus lay-bys that tractor drivers could pull into but the law doesn’t allow it and too many have received a ticket for doing so. Finally, as a county councillor, I find myself all too often having to visit farmers to ask their tractors to slow down going through the villages in my ward. It’s a funny old world we live in but I’m sure we can work it out between us.

Cllr Dave Greenow Hayley Ward

Poor spelling

CAN anyone explain why the new flats in Greyfriars Avenue are called Fryers Court? In the surrounding area there is the aforementioned Greyfriars Avenue, Friars Street and Greyfriars Bridge all spelled FRIAR so whose decided to spell these luxury flats as FRYER – after all that’s someone who cooks chips. Maybe it is a genuine mistake or just a sign that nobody really knows what they’re doing. I know the modern way is to change meanings of words but it just makes it look ridiculous and sound like an expensive chippy. 

Amanda Preece Hereford

Traffic worries

I AM disappointed with the recent narrow decision to grant outline permission for the development of 21 houses on the Pinfarthings site in North Leominster. This is a greenfield site and access to it is through an existing residential area of narrow streets. The increase in traffic will impact on the A44 Bargates area of Leominster which already has air pollution and traffic density problems. What steps are Herefordshire Council going to be taking to manage the increase in traffic movements in this area? Will there be any meaningful consultation with local people before any changes are made? When is the county going to address the need for an alternative route for the through traffic that currently blights the town? I am sure that the people of Leominster would like answers to these questions before any work begins on site. There has been a proposal to build more than 400 homes on the Barons Cross site for a number of years. Why has this development been allowed to stall for so long? Does the council have a strategy that will overcome the reluctance of the developers to get a move on?

Walter Wright Leominster

Join the fight!

I WAS interested to read J Pain’s concluding sentence in his letter referring to EU goalposts ( Letters Page, September 1) where he stated that ‘a lot of our own people are being neglected now’. On behalf of the significant number of ‘neglected women’, whose only crime was to have been born in the middle 1950s, I would like to raise awareness of the ‘double whammy’ dealt us by the Pensions Acts of 1995 and 2011. These acts firstly raised our State Pension Age to 65, then secondly to 66, with scant notice and even more scant information. Women affected will lose out on tens of thousands of pounds of state pension, as well as having an uplift in ‘qualifying years’ of National Insurance contributions to 35 years. Additionally, women who have had unpaid caring responsibilities, can no longer rely on their present or past husband’s NI contributions to support them adequately in old age, which had been the case until the recent changes. Hidden losses include not receiving bus passes or Winter Fuel Allowance for an extra six years. To rub salt into the wound, in July 2016, the Polish government decided to shelve its plans to gradually increase the SPA for women to 67 by 2040, and is in the process of returning to a SPA of 60 for Polish women. How is the Polish government financing this? By stepping up its war on tax evasion, according to a Polish radio report! If our government thinks that 50s women are a ‘soft touch’, it must think again. I would urge any women readers affected by this unfair and poorly publicised legislation to join the growing number of groups recently formed to put pressure on the government to re-think its strategy. Also, please write to your MP to voice your concern.

Ms Lindsay May Kington

Hedgehog call

AS WE’RE sure you’re aware, winter can be a further hazard for our already endangered favourite animal, the hedgehog. We therefore thought you might like some time during September to print this, which we hope your readers might find instructive. Hedgehog courtship is very noisy and can be violent! If you are lucky enough to have hedgehogs in your garden, watch out for small, young ones this autumn. Any weighing less than about a pound (450 grammes) will be at risk of not surviving the winter, and need feeding (cat or dog food, peanuts, sultanas). Contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society near Ludlow – 01584 890801: e-mail is

Margaret and Les Barclay Wigmore Herefordshire  

Ballroom joy  

IT WAS with much interest that I read the recent article on the Park Hall Ballroom. The architects for the extension were Scriven, Powell and James for whom I worked as an architectural draughtsman. Consequently I was given the job of preparing the sketch plans and the final working drawings for the planning application. I was fortunate to meet Mr Peel on the odd occasion and on completion of the building work I took a colour photograph of the new entrance façade which still hangs in my living room to this day. Although I did not visit the ballroom for any of the notable concerts, I well remember the impressive dining room at the Hereford and District Skittle League where they held their annual dinner and presentation nights which I attended on the odd occasion.

A MARCHANT Nicholson Court Hereford  

Parking woes  

I WRITE regarding plans to relocate Post Office business from Kings Acre Post Office to McColls retail group on Yazor Road, Hereford. Firstly, I congratulate the sub-postmistress Mrs J Mantle for her personal dedicated royal service over many years which will be sorely missed. While one can only assume that whatever contract existed between Post Office Counters and the sub-postmistress at Kings Acre is coming to an end, it becomes an ideal situation for Post Office Counters to both centralise and maximise more profit for themselves, yet still trying to promote themselves as a caring community organisation (nothing but greed). Parking facilities at this time are to say the least abysmal, a reconnaissance of the area must have been carried out by Google. In a flimsy leaflet circulated headed Post Office, it clearly states that parking is available on the forecourt of the shop, also roadside parking is available nearby. At present driving on the slip road can be achieved but parking and leaving the area is a nightmare which is going to get 100 per cent worse. I question parking on the forecourt, is the Post Office advocating parking on the pavements? If so I strongly suggest it reads the Highway Code. Furthermore, Hereford City has in situ the Royal National College for the Blind. Hereford City and Herefordians should be championing and leading from the front against motorised pavement parking.

P E MAYNE Kings Acre Hereford

Thank you

THANK you so much to the Hereford Times for your kind donation of £115 from your raffle at your annual Golf Day. We really appreciate the support we are given by the Hereford Times, not just financial, but the help that you give us, raising the awareness of Breast Cancer Haven in Hereford, which brings in so many more people – both visitors and fundraisers. Breast Cancer Haven, Hereford receives no government or NHS funding and we rely completely on fundraising activities and charitable donations to raise the money we require each year. The number of people using our unique and vital service has increased dramatically over the last year or so, and of course with that comes an increase in our costs – this financial year we need to raise some £330,000 to carry on with our outstanding level of service. We are so grateful to have your support and we never take that for granted.

LESLEY LEACH Breast Cancer Haven St Owen Street Hereford

Unfair plans

THE proposed constituency boundary for Hereford and South Herefordshire retains all of our existing wards and adds three extra wards currently in the North Herefordshire constituency. As such, Hereford and South Herefordshire Labour Party will probably not seek any local revision, however, the current national proposals to redraw constituency boundaries overall are unfair, undemocratic and unacceptable. They are based on an out-of-date version of the electoral register with nearly two million voters missing. Constitutional changes should be done fairly and consensually, to ensure that everyone is given a voice. There is nothing fair about reducing the number of elected MPs from 650 to 600 while the unelected House of Lords stands at more than 800 members and continues to grow, mainly as a result of additional Tory appointees. These changes nationally are not about fairness to voters, they are about what is best for the Tory party and they should not go ahead. The commission must rethink and ensure that no elector loses out.

Anna CODA Chairwoman Hereford & South Herefordshire Labour Party

Tour mistake

IN THE Hereford Times, September 15, page 26, you state that a contemporary art project funded by the Arts Council will be touring the midlands and Herefordshire. Why not to Ledbury which was and is still a main area for hops. It is being shown in Bromyard, Hereford, Leominster but why in Ross and Hay, neither have any interest in hops. Have the authorities already handed us to Worcestershire or have our many civil servants forgotten to mention Ledbury to the Arts Council? Our schoolchildren should see their heritage.

C Nicholson Ledbury