MUCH has been said about Herefordshire Council and its attempts to fleece visitors to the town of even more parking money with what seems to be a detrimental knock-on effect for independent traders.

This is my view on the situation:

Now retired, we used to come into town three or four times every week to spend money, and, yes, we always parked in Castle Street, which gave us two hours to shop in town (all day on Sunday).

In these two hours, it was easy to walk into High Town via Church Street, enjoy a snack or a cup of coffee, perhaps buy some cheese or fresh produce, have ample time to make various purchases around High Town before walking back to the car.

Since the council enforced these new parking restrictions we have not made one single visit to this side of Hereford and just one visit to the Old Market before Christmas.

From choice we now tend to visit Ledbury (plenty of free short-term on street parking) or drive over to Malvern where the council seems to encourage visitors with ample free short-term on street parking and sensible charges in their car parks.

For serious bigger value items, we now go to Worcester where you can park all day for just £3.60.

Well done, Herefordshire Council, you are doing a great job at ‘economic cleansing’.

Would it not be better for such a short-sighted council as Herefordshire to do all it can to encourage visitors.

Town centres soon die if there is not plenty of visitors to keep shops going, and consequently all the upstream income benefits to owners, shop staff, local service providers, landlords, and indeed council taxes.

Empty shops don’t contribute anything to the local economy.