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Message from the Chair

The Society’s Chair, at the invitation of the Editor

of the Hereford Times contributes an occasional

“Opinion Piece” for Herefordshire’s principle

weekly newspaper of record.

 

Previous articles see Topics Tab E-K

Hereford Times Opinion Pieces

 

TALKING POINT HEREFORD TIMES - 28th March 2024

It has been a delight these past few weeks to watch artists in the City Centre completing the publicly-funded murals that now adorn former blank/ unkempt building walls and narrow dingy passageways. So welcoming and amusing for residents passing each day and those visiting Hereford for the first time. The artists and the team who commissioned these works deserve our hearty congratulations.

 

There is a mural by the Herdsman’s public house that we can now ponder while waiting for the pedestrian light to go green before crossing Newmarket Street to visit the Old Market.

 

I have always been impressed by the design of this pedestrian crossing: a raised pavement across the road; no kerb to trip over; when its wet, no puddle to navigate or splashes to dodge from passing vehicles.  A safe pedestrian refuge in the middle of the carriageway for those in a hurry.  There is also an absence of railings, that elsewhere in Hereford City Centre fence us pedestrians at the edge of the road as if we were sheep.

 

The reason similar pedestrian crossings aren’t found elsewhere in Hereford City Centre is because vehicles are restricted to 20mph in Newmarket Street. Elsewhere, vehicles are permitted to travel up to 30mph, hence the need to “protect” the vulnerable pedestrian.  The current 30mph speed limit in the city centre possibly allows vehicles to get to their destination more quickly, but more probably disadvantages the economic prospects of adjacent areas where traffic speed discourages passing trade.

 

In the Civic Society’s proposed design of the Station Transport Hub, we would replace the current five sets of traffic lights on the “Link Road” with small roundabouts. This would result in improving connectivity for the pedestrian and the cyclist. We would argue that a 20mph speed limit with a sensible road design, with no traffic lights to obey enables a speedier journey than the present 30mph.

 

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