Cowley residents to learn decision on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Residents in Oxford’s Temple Cowley, Church Cowley and Florence Park areas will soon learn of the progress made on plans to have Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, making residential roads in these areas safer for cycling and walking.

A Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) is an area where motorised traffic is prevented from taking short cuts through a residential area by traffic blocks. This creates quieter streets where residents can feel safer and more comfortable when making local journeys by bus, by bike or on foot.

An informal consultation on the measures was held between 23 November and 17 December 2020.

Councillor Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said:

“We have listened to what transport and other changes local people want to be made as a result of this pandemic and we are taking action. I’d like to thank those that responded to the survey on these proposals. The feedback will allow the council to put forward a scheme design that is right for our communities.

“We are also considering this scheme — as well as wider, interrelated and permanent schemes, including the Zero Emission Zone and Connecting Oxford – as part of our response to address congestion, improve air quality and respond to our climate action agenda.”

The three Cowley area LTNs were originally proposed at the time of the first round of the government’s emergency active travel funding in summer 2020. The time since has been used to develop the schemes in more detail with local resident groups and local members offering important feedback.

Following further government guidance issued in November 2020, emphasising the need for consultation with the public to ensure local support for active travel measures, the council ran an informal consultation with the general public and other stakeholders prior to implementation.

In total, 1,454 questionnaires were completed online with 1,008 being from Cowley residents and businesses. There were over 300 responses from each local area (322 from Church Cowley, 307 from Temple Cowley and 340 from Florence Park). There were also 446 responses from other areas, mostly (381) from residents in other parts of Oxfordshire.

The survey responses revealed overall support for the proposed LTNs with some slight changes: the Church Cowley LTN was fully supported by 52 per cent; the Temple Cowley LTN by 53 per cent; and the Florence Park LTN by 56 per cent.

Councillor Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment, will make the initial Cabinet-delegated decision at a public meeting on the proposed LTNs on 21 January. Subject to the schemes being approved to go ahead, experimental traffic regulation orders will be made bringing in traffic restrictions that make up an LTN such as bollards and planters.

A six-month period of consultation will then start in which the public and all other interested stakeholders will be invited to offer feedback on the operation of the schemes. A report will then be presented to Cllr Constance for a decision on whether the provisions of the experiment, including any modifications made over the course of the experiment, -should be made permanent.