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  1. Popular e-scooters are being used in cities all over the world and now many cities here in the UK. Beryl are expanding their use across their network and have e-scooters and have a free trials tomorrow in Bournemouth. We have received many emails and messages from local people who have used e-scooters and would welcome them as an alternative form of low coast transport around the city. Have you used an e-scooter and would you like Herefordshire Council to give the go-ahead for e-scooters in Herefordshire? Hereford Voice first published details about e-scooters back in May 2020 in our article here 👉 https://hfd.news/eif
  2. Going out for the night should be a chance to have a great time with your partners or mates. The last thing you want to worry about is someone slipping something in your drink. Sadly, this is a real risk and especially so for women. In 2021, The Independent ran a YouGov survey which found that one in nine women have had their drinks spiked, and one in three knew another woman who had been spiked. What is drink spiking? To spike a drink means putting a substance in someone's drink that they have no knowledge of and have not consented to. This is usually with drugs or alcohol that could affect your body’s ability to function normally, which can potentially cause you harm and leave a person vulnerable. Drinkaware says drink spiking can happen to any type of drink, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Drinks spiked with alcohol or drugs can make a person seriously vulnerable. Spiking someone’s drink carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence in the UK. Always keep an eye on your drinks to make it more difficult for someone to spike it and also help to protect your friends and loved ones by keeping an eye on their drinks if they need to go to the toilet or for a dance and visa-versa.. Yates in Commercial Road, Hereford are one of the local pubs that are giving out foil covers for glasses to prevent spiking of drinks, hopefully other venues may follow helping to tackle this vile crime. Symptoms of drink spiking The effects of drink spiking vary depending on what you’ve been spiked with. Your symptoms could include: Lowered inhibitions Loss of balance Feeling sleepy Visual problems Confusion Nausea Vomiting Unconsciousness The symptoms will depend on lots of factors such as the substance or mix of substances used (including the dose), your size and weight, and how much alcohol you have already consumed. If you or a friend start to feel strange or more drunk than you should be, then get help straight away. More advice and a guide can be found Drinkaware
  3. Jon wrote "An illuminated variation on the Elgar view of #HerefordCathedral in #Hereford, #Herefordshire. I'll have to revisit this sometime as I'm sure I can improve on my light steering effortsElectric light bulb"
  4. Our Friends of Castle Green and Hereford LIVE camera hosts have announced that they have appointed local architect Oliver Steels of Errand Studio to work alongside the board in the next steps towards rejuvinating The Pavilion, Castle Green as part of the StrongerHereford Town project. As a local, Oliver has a good understanding of the needs of the community in redeveloping the building and has some fantastic ideas that will help FoCG to achieve its vision of transforming the historic Pavilion building to create a modern, accessible space and iconic riverside visitor attraction in the heart of Hereford. Our Friends of Castle Green are very much looking forward to working with Oliver over the coming months. Keep an eye out for updates on the plans!
  5. Hereford Voice have this evening received reports that the Oak Furnitureland store on the Salmon Retail Park, Holmer Road Hereford will reopen Monday with an immediate 'closing down' sale. We are informed that staff we given just 4 weeks notice of redundancy this morning and informed that the Hereford branch is scheduled to close in May. The hardwood furniture business announced restructuring plans last summer after it was rescued from collapse in a pre-pack administration deal. On June 15 2020, the retailer was acquired by global investment manager Davidson Kempner Capital Management following a sales process by Deloitte.
  6. Hereford City Council agreed to release this year’s grant of £15,000 to Close House in order to help fund their numerous projects, following a report presented by Ben Lea. Close House is a Youth Centre located in Hereford City Centre, and Hereford City Council have long been proud to support their brilliant work with young people. The Close House Project aims to be a safe, supportive and inspiring place for Hereford’s youth, breaking the cycle of negative experience and behaviour that some young people face, helping them find hope and aspiration and enabling them to control the direction their own lives take. The ongoing funding from the City Council covers the cost of running their drop-in service, as well as the Idle Hands programme. Close House also help run the Hereford City Youth Council, which gives young people a voice on the Parish Council and helps introduce them to the inner workings of Council and office environments. As unfortunately expected, the Covid-19 pandemic has made the work of Close House very difficult. Face-to-face appointments and meetings have not been possible, leaving many young people without the support they need without Close House. Though the group is now making a fresh start after the recent lifting of lockdowns, it has been difficult for staff to manage as several staff members have moved on and there is a marked lack of gap year students and volunteers. However, Close House has made progress on branching out to more young people to seek able and willing help, and business is picking up rapidly. It’s no surprise that young people are keen to delve into Close House’s inspiring work. The Idle Hands project has worked through three outreach programmes in large spaces to enable meetings during the pandemic; this helps tackle risks posed to young people such as County Lines drawing them into drug-related issues and associated crime. Close House enables those vulnerable to these issues turn negative behaviour into positive behaviour; a truly applaudable goal. City Councillors agreed that Close House’s work in the City is vital for young people in Hereford, and many spoke to express their appreciation for their ongoing work and support. It was agreed that the annual grant of £15,000 be released to help Close House continue their projects. For more information on Close House, visit: www.closehouse.org
  7. Construction will soon begin on a new Retirement Village development on Roman Road on the outskirts of Hereford. The site in Holmer will provide 80 one and two-bedroom apartments for affordable rent and is being brought to the city by Vistry Partnerships and Platform Housing Group. Platform, who run a similar development at Harling Court in Ledbury, will also provide onsite care and support services plus various communal facilities for the residents. Cllr Ange Tyler, Cabinet member for Housing, regulatory services, and community safety, said: “Providing affordable housing is a key issue for Local Authorities across Britain, and Herefordshire is no different. One of our key priorities is to deliver safe, comfortable and affordable housing, particularly for vulnerable people. We are therefore delighted to be working in partnership with Vistry Partnerships and Platform Housing Group on this project, and look forward to the new Retirement Village taking shape.” Darren Beale, Regional Managing Director at Vistry Partnerships West Midlands said, “We have extensive experience designing and constructing extra care schemes and we’re very pleased to be working in partnership again with Platform Housing. As one of the country’s leading regeneration specialists we recognise the need to support our partners to build homes across all tenures, particularly homes and care services for older people.” Steve Eaves, Director of Regeneration at Platform Housing said, “This is a fantastic partnership that will provide much needed older persons housing in a very popular and strategically important area for our partners at Herefordshire Council. We are also very much looking forward to working with Vistry again. They have a great rack record of successfully delivering large schemes with Platform.“ Some £19m is being spent on the project which is anticipated to begin in the spring.
  8. Several reports had been received between 18 December and 3 January but no injuries had been reported. Officers carried out enquiries and yesterday (Wednesday 5 January) arrested a 34-year-old man from Hereford on suspicion of sexual assault. . He was bailed pending further enquiries. Anyone with any concerns about an incident is urged to visit https://www.westmercia.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/. Always dial 999 in an emergency.
  9. West Mercia Police Statement; Today a murder investigation was launched after a woman was found dead at a property in Herefordshire. At around 8am this morning, we received a report of a collision whereby a car crashed into a telegraph pole on Eye Lane, Luston in Herefordshire. Officers responded and, following enquiries, attended an address in Moreton Eye, Herefordshire with colleagues from West Midlands Ambulance Service. Sadly, a 78-year-old woman was found dead at the address. The death is being investigated as a murder and a 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody. West Mercia Police officers remain at the scene whilst enquiries are ongoing.
  10. After months of work behind the scenes we are pleased to announce 'HEREFORD LIVE' now streaming from High Town LIVE LIVE FEED https://hfd.news/q7a Hereford Voice have also sponsored Hereford's second LIVE HD Webcam from the heart of our fabulous city! Check out the Panoramic view of High Town and the Black and White House Museum in Hereford hosted by our good friends at WorkHere: Community Workspace, Hereford Part of the Skyline network of high definition panoramic webcams scattered around the world with the sole goal of promoting tourism, art and culture! Statistics | You will be able to see how many people are online as well as how many visitors there have been viewing our fantastic city. Web | www.herefordlive.uk Host | https://www.workhereford.co.uk If you have a great view in Herefordshire that you would like to share and are interested in having a LIVE webcam sponsored by Hereford Voice please get in touch. Premium | If you would like to view any of the cameras on the network it is completely FREE but there is just one 5 second advert however, for a small fee of €9.50 per year you can go Premium. The Premium option allows access to features and services that will render your navigation experience on SkylineWebcams more exciting. With Premium you can explore the site without ads, view webcams in Full Screen mode, quickly access your favourite webcams, take pictures and share them on the site, communicate with other users thanks to the chat, travel from one corner of the globe to another in just a few seconds with the interactive map and the search engine. #HerefordVoice #HerefordNews #HerefordLIVE
  11. Hereford Voice understands this morning that temporary black tape will be placed along the low kerbs in Widemarsh Street within the next 24hours, marking the infamous kerbs that many of us (or folks we know) have taken a tumble over. Hereford Voice have been advised that works will begin at the end of March next year, for approximately 8 weeks (keeping road open for access as much as possible). This work is long overdue, over a decade after the road was redesigned and this hazard has been allowed to continue for too long. Hereford Voice would like to thank campaigners like Barb Tilling and Anna Gardiner from local group Widemarsh Street Trips and Falls for their hard work over the years to raise awareness on this issue and also want to thank the coalition administration who have took the decision and secured the funding for the levelling of the kerbs after nothing was done by the previous administration. We appreciate things take time but are very pleased that common sense has prevailed here.
  12. We are so pleased with these incredible numbers in such a short space of time this evening our 'HEREFORD LIVE' High Town HD Cam reached over 100,000 visitors. LIVE FEED ➡️ https://hfd.news/q7a Sponsored by Hereford Voice and hosted live 24/7 by our good friends at WorkHere: Community Workspace, Hereford. Hereford Voice is part of the Skyline network of high definition panoramic webcams scattered around the world with the sole goal of promoting tourism, art and culture! Web | www.herefordlive.uk Host | https://www.workhereford.co.uk More exciting news coming soon!
  13. This is not just a coffee shop... After months and months of hard work and a lot of investment, locally owned Eden Coffee House Hereford officially open their doors this Wednesday. Herefordian’s, Phil and Karen decided they wanted to create a very cool space in the middle of our fabulous city and what better location than right opposite Hereford's most famous Black and White House museum landmark. As an advertising partner, Hereford Voice were given exclusive access before the soft opening earlier this afternoon to be able to capture some photographs of this fabulous completely renovated property. Over the past few months we have been talking with the new owners to find out how this coffee shop differs from some others. Karen and Phil told us that their mantra is to have an independent coffee shop, sourcing quality local produce where possible as well as offering something a little different and creating at least 10 new jobs! There will be a big focus on being a friendly and relaxing environment, where everyone will enjoy the warmth and personality from the staff. Eden Coffee House is going to be full of plants too, many of which will be for sale. This lovely old building has been sat empty for a long time and has now been transformed into a relaxing space where people will be able to enjoy this beautiful building once again. Phil and Karen have financed this project at great expense to themselves and they wanted to bring this building back to its former glory and in doing so have exposed some beautiful old hidden beams, wonderful brickwork and during the renovation work their builders have unearthed lots of historic features, such as the original butchers bricks from back when the butchers shop ceased trading in 1930 and predates back into the 1800s. The building now showcases, much of the original features, and includes some modern twists, such as the new amazing steel staircase. We already got a great vibe during our visit today and the coffee is lush! All the produce and cakes are daily fresh and not frozen and they also have the wonderful award winning Peter Cooks Bread available. Best of all Eden Coffee House is DOG FRIENDLY Hereford Voice will be keeping you up to date with the progress and any special offers over the coming months, so keep an eye open, in the meantime, please support our local independents and pop in and check out this fabulous new business which officially opens this Wednesday. We would like to wish Phil and Karen all the very best of luck with their new venture
  14. Festive News | Santa and his Sleigh will be in High Town Hereford on Wednesday 15th December 10.30am - 4.30pm Hereford Lions Club have also confirmed that from Saturday 11th December, Santa will be touring the city. Santa like last year will not be stopping, but will be escorted by members of the Club on his journey. Please keep an ear out as they will have vehicle ahead of the sleigh letting everyone know that Santa is on his way, ho ho ho
  15. Hereford Voice have been kindly invited by owners Karen and Phil to the soft opening on Monday between 3pm - 7pm and everyone is welcome to join us with the official opening on Wednesday 8th December. There is still a lot of work to be completed and its all hands on deck to be ready for Monday. Eden Coffee House created by two Herefordian’s, who have decided they want to create a very cool space in the middle of our fabulous city and what better location than right opposite Hereford's most famous Black and White House museum landmark. Hereford Voice was given some exclusive access recently and we have been talking with the new owners over the last few weeks to find out how this coffee shop differs from some others. Karen and Phil told us that their mantra is to have an independent coffee shop, sourcing quality local produce where possible as well as offering something a little different and creating at least 10 new jobs! There will be a big focus on being a friendly and relaxing environment, where everyone will enjoy the warmth and personality from the staff. Eden Coffee House is going to be full of plants too, many of which will be for sale. This lovely old building has been sat empty for a long time and is now being transformed into a relaxing space where people will be able to enjoy this beautiful building once again. Phil and Karen have financed this project at great expense to themselves but they wanted to bring this building back to its former glory and in doing so have exposed some beautiful old hidden beams, wonderful brickwork and during the renovation work their builders have unearthed lots of historic features, such as the original butchers bricks from back when the butchers shop ceased trading in 1930 and predates back into the 1800s. So the building will showcase, much of the original features, but will include some modern twists such as new amazing steel staircase. Please support our local independents and pop in and check out this fabulous new business when they open next week!
  16. Hereford Voice asked Herefordshire Council for a breakdown on what car parking charges are used to pay for and got this helpful infographic sent to us. They told us that car parking charges are primarily used to control limited space in the City and towns to keep the churn rate high in the City and town centres, making sure there is availability for those that want to drive in to the centre – quick stop in Broad Street to go to the bank or quick stop in King Street to pick up from the King Street Kitchen - and that they use lower tariffs to encourage longer stay/commuters to use car parks on the edges of the City or the market town centres. They also use the valuable income from car parking (quite a lot from penalty notices too) to subsidise transport related Council services, particularly those, like school transport, that has suffered as a result of severe government cuts to local authorities like Herefordshire (one grant alone, the Revenue Support Grant has been cut from over £62 million in 2010 to £600k in 2021 – and yes, both our MPs voted for many cuts over the last decade. Jesse Norman - https://hfd.news/bzn Bill Wiggin - https://hfd.news/k69 🔹Do you object to paying a premium to park in the City or town centres? 🔹Do you prefer to park further out and spend longer in town? 🔹How does a Council manage limited spaces in the centres? Some commentators think free parking is the panacea that will revitalise High Street trading – do you think so too or is that too simplistic (and perhaps a deliberately provocative view)? Cwmbran is often cited as an example of a town that offers free parking. Aside from the fact that the parking is free because of a very large private shopping centre that allows unrestricted parking on its 3000-space carpark, is Cwmbran more attractive and prosperous than our very own local retail and historic cores? The parking team in Herefordshire Council have confirmed Christmas late night shopping and free Saturdays are still offered in the run up to Christmas and the City and Town Councils choose which days or half days suit them best. An emotive subject and one that presses many of our buttons. So is it time to stop complaining about paying less than many people spend on coffee in a day, or should we have free parking in Hereford and the surrounding market towns and the inevitable reduced public services that would follow?
  17. Twinkling lights, mulled wine, a festive atmosphere and fabulous gifts – Christmas markets are one of England's fondest traditions. Many cities enjoy wonderful Christmas Markets throughout the festive period, with their classic wooden chalets often showcasing local produce, wines, crafts, food and gifts. Which is your favourite market and would you support bringing this tradition to Hereford ? Ho ho ho 🎅 Let us see if we can influence Herefordshire Council and Hereford City Council to get behind our idea to bring a tradtional Christmas Market to Hereford in the next few years.
  18. Heartbreaking to see the devastation caused by the storm and we are sending our love to all the fabulous exhibitors who have been affected. In a statement the organisers wrote; IMPORTANT UPDATE | MEDIEVAL FAYRE 2021 It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that this year’s Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre is cancelled. There has been too much damage on site for us to be able to make the event safe for visitors, exhibitors, performers and staff. We need today to manage the situation here at the Castle and to support our exhibitors who have been affected by the storm damage. On Monday we will email all ticket holders with an update. If you can please bear with us on that. We are a small, family businesses and need to be here on site to recover what we can. Thank you for all your well wishes and words of support. It means so much to us. Abi and Prue x
  19. Council agrees ambitious new recycling and waste plans Changes made for a greener future Residents and business owners across Herefordshire will be provided with new rubbish and recycling collection arrangements from late 2023. The news follows a decision made by our cabinet members today (Thursday 25 November 2021). The changes include a new weekly food waste collection service and a fortnightly, seasonal garden waste collection service. Currently, 40 per cent of the contents of residual waste (black bins) could be recycled. We are planning to meet stringent environmental targets identified in our waste strategy and we are introducing the service after residents told us in a consultation on collection options that more needs to be done to help increase recycling. ♻️ New rubbish and recycling collections being introduced from late 2023 The enhanced service, providing much more recycling capacity, comprises the following collection “streams”, which will improve both the quantity and quality of recycling: ♻️ New bin. Paper and cardboard will be collected separately in new 240-litre wheelie bins ♻️ Existing green bin. Metals (tins and cans), most plastics (pots, tubs, trays and bottles) and glass ♻️ Existing black bin. Anything that cannot be recycled or put into food waste ♻️ Food waste. We will provide all households with a new, 23-litre food caddy and liners ♻️ Garden waste bin. Residents can opt for a seasonal garden waste collection Herefordshire Council wrote, we will work with managing agents, residents associations and people who live in flats to ensure they have a service that reflects their needs and provides maximum opportunities for them to recycle. As is currently the case, larger families, families using disposable nappies and those with medical needs will still receive additional capacity. These are considered on a case by case basis. The cabinet also agreed changes to our waste disposal contract that will see a 95 per cent reduction in waste being sent to landfill to just one per cent from April 2022. Welcome news News of the new waste arrangements was welcomed by Cllr Gemma Davies: “We have listened to our residents who told us they wanted more opportunities to recycle. Our new system provides more capacity to recycle from 2024. We know that for people living in flats or for larger families this will not be easy. We also will be looking for ways to help people in those circumstances and will say more about that in the future. “This is just one part of our ambitious plans for helping people to reuse more, recycle more and waste less. I am also very pleased to have secured savings on our waste disposal contract and greater protection for when recyclers want to send materials outside of Europe. I am delighted that we will be achieving a 95 per cent reduction in waste going to landfill from next April to just one per cent.”
  20. 'Harpers Law' which introduces a mandatory life sentence to anyone convicted of killing an emergency worker whilst committing a crime. A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police told Hereford Voice We are delighted to say that the Government has confirmed that Harper’s Law will be introduced in memory of our late colleague PC Andrew Harper. The law will introduce mandatory life sentences for anyone convicted of killing an emergency worker whilst committing a crime. This move follows an unwavering campaign by his widow Lissie - supported by Sgt Andy Fiddler and the Harper's Law Team - and comes after a number of meetings with the Justice Secretary and Home Secretary. Henry Long, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers each received custodial sentences of between 13 and 19 years in prison for PC Harper’s manslaughter. An appeal by the Attorney General to increase their time behind bars was rejected. Ministers are determined to make sure that punishments fit the severity of the crime and are determined to introduce the law as soon as possible. The move extends mandatory life sentences to anyone who commits the manslaughter of an emergency worker on duty – including police, prison officers, firefighters and paramedics – while carrying out another crime unless there are truly exceptional circumstances. Courts must already impose life sentences for murder, with a whole-life order being the starting point if the victim is a police officer. Lissie Harper said: “Emergency services workers require extra protection. I know all too well how they are put at risk and into the depths of danger on a regular basis on behalf of society. That protection is what Harper’s Law will provide and I am delighted that it will soon become a reality. “It’s been a long journey and a lot of hard work. I know Andrew would be proud to see Harper’s Law reach this important milestone. “I’d like to thank the teams at the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office and Dominic Raab, Priti Patel and Robert Buckland for working with me to achieve this. “I would also like to thank my incredible Harper’s Law team as well as the public for their unstinting support for such an important campaign. Those who believed that the right thing is worth doing despite the hurdles and challenges that we needed to be overcome. “And for the families of those that this Law will provide justice for, we’re almost there. Your continued support has kept me pushing forward.” Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab said: “We are going to pass into law mandatory life sentences for those who unlawfully kill an emergency worker in the course of their duty. I pay tribute to Lissie Harper’s remarkable campaign. “This government is on the side of victims and their families and we want our emergency services to know that we’ll always have their back.” Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said: “PC Andrew Harper’s killing was shocking. As well as a committed police officer, he was a husband and a son. It is with thanks to the dedication of Lissie and his family that I am proud to be able to honour Andrew's life by introducing Harper's Law. "Those who seek to harm our emergency service workers represent the very worst of humanity and it is right that future killers be stripped of the freedom to walk our streets with a life sentence.” The move follows recent government action to protect police, prison officers, firefighters and paramedics and ensure those who seek to harm them feel the full force of the law. This includes plans to double the maximum penalty for assaulting them to two years’ imprisonment
  21. Weapons and firearms surrendered for destruction to officers at Hereford police station following the current national knife amnesty. 'Operation Sceptre' knife amnesty is currently running nationally, where people can drop any knives into the drop boxes located at various police stations across the country with 'No Questions Asked' Operation Sceptre is a national initiative which takes place twice a year, and aims to reduce knife crime by targeting those carrying weapons, disrupting the supply of knives, raising awareness of the dangers of knife crime, and providing young people with alternatives to crime.
  22. It looks like the Old Market shopping centre may have tenant soon for the 83,000 sq ft empty building formally occupied by Debenhams. The Old Market has 32 - retail and leisure units owned by British Land Company PLC. (Rumours are that is could possibly be Primark who are looking to expand their operation in the UK, but that is only a rumor) Who would you like to see occupy this building in such a prime location in Hereford ?
  23. St Mary's C of E Primary School in Credenhill, Herefordshire forced to close due to increase in Covid-19 cases. The school will close from tomorrow (Tuesday 23rd Nov) until Monday (29th Nov).
  24. West Mercia Police has reinforced its commitment to tackling heritage crime, including metal and rural thefts, at a recent event at Harvington Hall. T The event, attended by Chief Constable Pippa Mills, highlighted the use of SmartWater to help prevent metal thefts, and showcased some of the tactics utilised by the We Don’t Buy Crime team to prevent rural thefts, such as agricultural and plant machinery thefts. During the event, CC Mills discussed the force’s efforts with Lord Faulkner, who also attended, and identified the link between heritage crime and organised crime. Lord Faulkner sits on the Metal, Stone and Heritage Crime All-party parliamentary group. She said: “We have some vast and beautiful rural areas across the counties covered by West Mercia Police, many home to iconic heritage sites and it is vital we protect these. Understandably, rural crime has a huge impact on our local communities and I’m pleased with the work that goes on by teams right across the force. However, of course, there is always more we can do. “We know there is often a link between heritage crime and organised crime, those involved in heritage crime are often also involved in other organised criminality, including drugs and trafficking. Heritage crime doesn’t just have an impact locally, but further afield.” The event was led by Wyre Forest Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector David King with support from the We Don’t Buy Crime. Insp King is also West Mercia Police’s heritage crime lead and regional lead for the West Midlands. Heritage England recently extended funding for the National Police Cadets “Solve It” initiative. The initiative gives Volunteer Police Cadet schemes the opportunity to propose projects in response to a Heritage Challenge, giving the opportunity for young volunteers to be directly involved in looking after and making the most of their historic environment. Heritage crime is any offence which harms the value of heritage assets and their settings, such as theft , criminal damage, arson and anti-social behaviour.
  25. STATEMENT | "Yeomans Travel have made the difficult decision to withdraw most of their commercial bus services in the City of Hereford, the last day being New Year’s Eve, Friday 31st December 2021. Yeomans Travel has been family owned for over a century and currently provides bus and school services, contracts, private hire and holiday tours. In September 2015 we stepped in and kept the bus services running when First closed their Hereford depot citing that it was not viable to operate with such low passenger numbers. Most of the Hereford city bus services are run on a commercial basis without any Council subsidy. The Government had given financial support to all bus companies during the Covid crisis to keep some services operating but this finished at the end of September. Since then we have continued to operate these services without support but this is not sustainable. In recent years, and especially since the start of the Covid pandemic, the number of passengers carried has been in slow decline as more people have bought cars and traffic congestion in the city has got steadily worse. The rise of out-of-town shopping and employment centres has also reduced demand for travel into the city centre. There have been no discussions with local operators about bus priority or traffic issues until recently when the Government unveiled a package to local councils to assist bus travel. We are now carrying only 50% of the numbers of bus passengers that we were carrying in 2019 and this is unfortunately typical of bus services across the whole of England and like many others are also having to absorb the large increase in fuel costs. Whilst Yeomans Travel is aware that Herefordshire Council is working on a new Bus Strategy that will involve support for bus services across the County, we are having to act now to protect the future of the Company. We are upset that the Council have not even mentioned the reason we are stopping these services in their press release. When we informed them, with the reasons behind it, they offered no assistance or asked what they could do to help other than to ask us to carry on until April. If it is not financially viable, why would we continue until then? There was not even a thank you for stepping in with six weeks’ notice and solving the problems 6 years ago when First did the same thing only on a bigger scale. Therefore the following services will be affected from this date: City services 71 (Credenhill), 72 (Bobblestock), 74S (Bishops School), 77A (College Green and Bobblestock circular), 79A/88 (Putson and Redhill) will be withdrawn. Service 74 to Newton Farm will continue to operate but the route via Hunderton will be withdrawn. Service 78/78X to Rotherwas/Skylon Park will also continue to run. We had given Herefordshire Council the statutory notice required before withdrawing these bus services and they have already published a tender to operate emergency timetables on these routes, which they also failed to mention. These will now be financially supported, if we had been offered this we would have continued operating these services which would have meant no disruption to services at all and saved a lot of time and effort all round. There are no job losses created by these changes and we will still be operating our subsidised services throughout Herefordshire. We would like to thank our staff for their hard work and passengers for their custom and support over the years but we cannot continue to operate something that is not commercially viable"
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