Amanda Martin is standing as an independent in the upcoming local elections in Herefordshire.

She will be standing for election in the Hinton and Hunderton ward.

Here’s a bit of information about Amanda, and her plans should she get elected on 4th May. 

“Originally from Cardiff, I came to Hereford twenty years ago and now live in Putson with my six rescue cats.

“I have two grown up children, a son and a daughter; a typical Cancerian and home is my natural habitat. 

“Not interested in money, status or power but recognise that good intentions are not enough.

“In my spare time I like to cook, grow stuff, debate, design beautiful rooms and make do and mend. Experienced skip diver. I feel strongly about animal cruelty and I’m part of the team who care for the Rotherwas Mogs, a colony of homeless cats at Thorn Business Park.”

Amanda believes that a bypass for Hereford isn’t the answer as it would attract more traffic. 

She said:

“Congestion and urban blight caused by

Hereford’s traffic problems are one

of the main reasons for the Hereford’s


“They reduce quality of life for those living here, make the city less attractive to visitors, deter investors and undermine local businesses but with 40% of trips starting and ending within the city, a bypass is not the answer. 

“In fact, because of the “traffic induction” caused by building roads around congested local networks, it would make the problem worse. 

“According to transport planning physics, it is impossible to reduce urban congestion with bypasses and there is not one single example of where this has been successful. It’s the “M25” effect – the more road space you create, the more traffic you release.

“People living in Belmont, Newton Farm, Hunderton, Moor Farm, Three Elms and Bobblestock would be personally affected by the Western Relief Road (the bypass). The road would clip the western edge of Hereford.

“The noise would be constant. It would be audible over much of the city and seriously intrusive in the western suburbs – deafening in places- with pollution carried eastwards by the prevailing winds into nearby homes. If the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats gain control of the Council, this road would be back on the agenda.”

What’s the alternative?

“An Eastern crossing at Rotherwas

could help but it would not be enough

on its own. 

“We need to reduce our reliance on the car for some of the short journeys we make. Public transport is important but it does not currently meet people’s needs and Councils do not control local bus services.

“Herefordshire is a rural county. For many people entering or leaving the city, and with poor bus services in many areas, the car would remain the main mode of transport with some uptake of Park and Ride/ Park and Cycle.

“The car would also remain the main mode of transport within the city. Many people need a car because they cannot walk or cycle easily or because they carry passengers or tools and equipment. 

“However, with good bike infrastructure and the right bikes, a good proportion of the short car trips that are causing congestion in Hereford could be removed – daily commutes, the school run and shopping and leisure trips are key targets.

“Electric cargo bikes could help people who want to cycle more. They are widely used on the Continent for carrying shopping and children and could save hard pressed families the expense of running a second car. 

“They are safe, easy to ride and easily cope with hills, even loaded. 33% of trips is the magic number. If we can raise the bike’s share of total trips from its current 7% to 33%, we will have no congestion.

“Dutch cyclists are mostly car owners too but they don’t use cars as much for short journeys and that is good for the economy too. Using a bike instead of a car benefits local businesses because bikes provide better access than cars do. Taking a cargo bike into town means you can park it more or less outside the shop you want to visit. 

“You can ride away with far more in the box of a cargo bike than if you have to carry purchases back to a car. “Bikenomics” increases footfall and spend and supports the kind of niche businesses Hereford needs.

“Even if the bypass could solve the problem, these road schemes take years to plan. We need cost effective solutions now before Hereford drowns in traffic.”

Amanda is also passionate when it comes to housing. Here is what she has to say about the problems facing the people of Herefordshire when it comes to housing.

“Hereford is suffering from a housing crisis with a shortage of good affordable homes to rent.

“There is a shortage of social housing with long waiting lists but much of the existing social housing stock is in serious disrepair with widespread problems of damp and mold.

“As a landlord myself in the past, I

strongly believe that everyone has the right to a safe, sound home and that tenants should not be ignored for months and sometimes years or have to spend their own money on sticking plaster solutions because fundamental structural problems are not being dealt with properly by the landlord.

“As your councillor, I would take up your case and fight your corner to ensure that your voice is heard and work with Connexus to ensure that all housing meets not only legal but decent standards.”

These are some of the things that Amanda supports:

  • 21st Century transport planning including cutting edge Dutch style bike infrastructure to tackle congestion and traffic blight, benefit local businesses, deal with the school run and give people an alternative to the car for some journeys;
  • a re-design of the disastrous bike lane in St Owen Street;
  • turning off some traffic lights and ridding our streets of ugly barriers and unnecessary signage;
  • building on the Beryl scheme with a fleet of electric cargo bikes;
  • energy efficiency through better insulation and less waste;
  • supporting local businesses by cleaning and greening the city and stopping the sell off of Council owned commercial property;
  • improving social housing and eliminating homelessness;
  • cutting waste by changing the rules at the tip so that items can be traded and re-used;
  • sorting out road surfaces that damage vehicles and threaten cyclists’ safety and making sure contractors do a better job;
  • raising the bar for planning and the way Council services are provided

These are some of the things that Amanda is against:

  • the Western Bypass;
  • plastic planters and badly designed bike lanes;
  • extravagance and waste;
  • large car dependent housing estates like the ones planned for Grafton and Huntington;
  • cutting down trees and building on local green spaces; factory farms including chicken sheds;