Changes to trial traffic filter proposals based on consultation feedback

Proposals to introduce six trial traffic filters − designed to reduce traffic, make bus journeys faster and make walking and cycling safer − will be considered by Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet on 29 November.

If approved by cabinet, the six trial traffic filters will be located on St Cross Road, Thames Street, St Clements, Hythe Bridge Street, Marston Ferry Road and Hollow Way.

The county council has published changes to the proposals based on feedback from public consultation and engagement and results from further traffic analysis.

Since February 2022, the county council, in partnership with Oxford City Council, has engaged with hundreds of local businesses, organisations and community groups including bus companies, hospitals, schools and universities and refined the proposals based on this engagement process.

Following feedback from partners, the council put forward plans to introduce the traffic filters as an experimental traffic regulation order (ETRO), to test the scheme and make changes if needed, before making a long-term decision on the trial.

The county council carried out a public consultation to better understand the impacts of the proposals between 5 September and 13 October 2022. It received 5,700 responses to the public consultation, with another 485 emails from members of the public and organisations. These responses were analysed by an independent research company.

Following this feedback, some key changes to the proposals are being recommended to cabinet by officers. These include:

  • Traffic filters on Hollow Way and Marston Ferry Road initially operating at peak times only from 7am until 9am and from 3pm until 6pm Monday to Saturday. This is to confirm whether part-time filters at these locations achieve the aims of the scheme.
  • Residents based in the Shotover Hill area and residential areas immediately adjacent to Barton to be included in the Oxford permit area. Residents of these areas can apply for day passes to drive through the filters for up to 100 days per year.  
  • Expanding resident day passes to include 25 day passes per person per year for residents of Oxfordshire outside the Oxford permit area (with a maximum of one vehicle per person and two vehicles per household) to pass through the filters. Residents in the Oxford permit area, who are most affected by the scheme, would still receive a maximum of 100 day passes per vehicle (with a maximum of one vehicle per person and three vehicles per household). 
  • Short-term exemptions for patients receiving frequent hospital treatments to drive through one traffic filter of their choosing and for people with temporary mobility problems.
  • Expanding the permit eligibility criteria for non-professional carers to include anyone with informal caring responsibilities, but restrict the exemption to one traffic filter of the applicant’s choosing.

Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said: “I would like to thank everyone who gave their feedback on the proposals, whether that was by meeting with us during the engagement events, responding to our consultation survey or by writing to us.

“We received over 6,000 responses to the consultation and that feedback has helped shape the changes being proposed to the trial scheme. If approved by the council’s cabinet, the traffic filters will be implemented as a trial. This would allow another opportunity for people to share their views based on their experience of living with the filters.”

Cabinet members will consider a range of information before making a decision on the proposals. This includes feedback received during consultation as well as data on traffic modelling, air quality and equality and climate impact assessments.

Councillor Duncan Enright, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Travel and Development Strategy, has decided he should step away from this forthcoming decision on this occasion. This is to allay any concerns about his impartiality following recent media coverage.

Councillor Enright said “Quotations attributed to me do not, out of context, properly represent either my own views or Oxfordshire County Council’s plans to tackle congestion and improve travel around the city.

“To give the public full confidence that the decision on traffic filters will be made on the basis of the best evidence, including the recent public consultation feedback, I will not take part in this decision on 29 November.”

If approved, officers are recommending to cabinet that the traffic filter trial should begin after Botley Road reopens to motorised traffic following major improvements to Oxford railway station. This would enable an effective and representative trial to take place.

For more information about this release contact Oxfordshire County Council’s communications team on 01865 323870 or email press.office@oxfordshire.gov.uk