SIR – As a Worcester business that brings in significant numbers of foreign visitors, travel agents and students to the city, many of whom stay at the Fownes Hotel, I was delighted to see the installation of the new crossing in City Walls Road.
Having given our visitors a walking tour of the city it was almost embarrassing having to get 10 or 20 people across a motorway to their hotel for the night. We are now able to do this in comfort and safety.
As a pedestrian 90 metres (180 metres there and back) to the nearest crossing is a long way to walk given that you only want to cross the road, and I wonder how many of the “furious” motorists would complain if they were told to park 180 metres away from the shops, their offices or homes?
I suspect that the savings on not operating the speed camera on the northbound carriageway will soon negate the £15,000 cost of the crossing.
Director and finance manager, Kingsway English Centre,

Best ‘deal’ for energy to be in public hands
SIR – To no one’s great surprise, we have been informed by Ofgem, the energy market regulator,  that the energy market is not working and that consumers have been overcharged by £1.2bn. According to the energy companies, it is because consumers are not “switching” enough in order to make competition work. The implication is that the energy companies have exploited this reluctance to switch by keeping prices high and that it is us, the consumers, who are to blame for not playing this particular game of Monopoly with enough enthusiasm.
It seems that most people don’t trust any of the companies to give them a better deal and have no desire to get involved. You could switch to a good deal today, only to find that your new supplier ups the price next week. In that event, if you were on the ball, you would be expected to switch again to another supplier, and another, and another and spend half your life hunched over a computer like a demented commodities trader.
Then there are the price comparison site companies who have been totally discredited on it being discovered that they receive rates of commission at the discretion of the “competing” companies depending on which particular product they recommend. That is corruption, of course, but they seem immune and are still thriving.
All I have ever wanted is to know the price of a cubic metre of gas and a kilowatt-hour of electricity represented by each “deal” on offer. I have never had a straight answer yet.
The best “deal” would be to bring energy back into the public sector.

No place for fur in town’s ceremony
SIR – It was good to hear that Worcester-based company Robes of Distinction “refuses to use real fur on a matter of principle” (“£5,000 to repair mayoral robes”, Worcester News, July 2).
The fur trade is an appallingly cruel industry, to the extent that fur farming was banned in this country over a decade ago.
It is very disappointing, therefore, that Droitwich Town Councillor Jan Bolton appears to be supporting the use of real fur to repair the town’s ceremonial mayoral robes.
Let’s hope the council see sense and refuse to contribute to animal suffering for the sake of ceremony.
More info about the cruelty of the fur trade and what members of the public can do to stop it can be found at

Austerity a choiceand not necessity
SIR – Yet again, Francis Lankester puts on public display (Letters, July 6) his confusion about recent economic and political history.
Leaving aside his weird and obsessive fantasy that a prime objective of recent USA and UK policy has, apparently, been to promote our purchase of “cheap Chinese goods”, he actually (though unwittingly, I suspect) puts up a convincing, and accurate, argument that the world financial crisis a few years ago was caused by private debt (as opposed to public debt), but then goes on to blame the Labour government for overspending.
What that government got wrong, I agree, was to reduce regulation of the banks; but it is strange to see this coming from a prominent member of the arch-anti-regulation Conservative Party!
Three quick facts – our debt-to-GDP ratio actually fell from 42.5 per cent in 1996-7 (the last Tory year) to 35.9 per cent ten years later; Messrs. Cameron and Osborne, in opposition, had loudly criticised Labour for not spending enough; and our economy was expanding at the time when the Tory-led government took power and wilfully applied the brakes. Austerity has been a choice, not a necessity.
Two things about this give concern. Firstly, the cynical lies told by the Tories and their national press baron supporters represent the single biggest scam perpetrated on the British electorate in my lifetime and all but the very rich have suffered as a result. Secondly, the refusal of Labour, including locally, to condescend to a defence of the truth is most baffling.
I know that Green Party MP Caroline Lucas shares this frustration. There is, after all, a better choice than that between the abject dishonesty of the Tories and the abject and unprincipled timidity of Labour.