County council reiterates calls for constructive engagement on east Oxford LTNs

Oxfordshire County Council is again urging residents and road users to engage constructively with its consultation on trial low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in east Oxford.

Damage to traffic filters around east Oxford, as well as the Cowley area where trial LTNs were installed in 2021, is creating significant safety concerns, as well as a substantial cost to the taxpayer. The costs for damage to bollards and planters has now topped £12,000 since the measures were launched on 20 May.

The council will continue to make safe and reinstate all damaged bollards that have been forcibly knocked down or uprooted and is currently in the process of replacing filters on Leopold Street, Howard Street, Rectory Road, Southfield Road and Divinity Road. 

Councillor Andrew Gant, Cabinet Member for Highways Management at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “The safety of everyone using and living on these roads is our utmost priority. The damage that has been done has not only created confusion and increased the risk of traffic incidents, but it may also prevent emergency services being able to gain access if the mechanisms allowing the bollards to be lowered are impacted. 

“Vandalism of this kind is a serious criminal offence and I would urge anyone who is thinking of damaging any of these filters to think twice.

“I understand that some community members are voluntarily creating human barriers to vehicles trying to enter LTN areas through damaged filters. But I would again urge that people are mindful of their own safety and wait for bollards to be restored where they have been removed.

“We are committed to listening to all views on these experimental measures and the right way to make your voice heard is to take part in our public consultation. We want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to voice their views on these trial measures, which cannot be implemented without engagement with those affected.”

An LTN is an area where motorised traffic is prevented from taking shortcuts through a residential area by traffic filters. The aim of this is to create quieter and safer streets which have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of local residents and encourage people to make more local journeys by bus, by cycle or on foot.

Everyone who wishes to express an opinion on the measures can do so by responding to the council’s public consultation at letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk/east-oxford-ltns-2022. 

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