Cowley LTNs to stay in place

Three low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in the Cowley area of Oxford are to stay in place, Oxfordshire County Council has decided.

The decision was made by the county council’s cabinet at a meeting today (Tuesday, 19 July), and follows an 18 month long trial.

Cabinet also committed to undertake additional community and stakeholder engagement to further refine the scheme, with any changes to be implemented by spring 2023. The council will also continue to monitor all aspects of the measures and bring forward proposals for changes through the consultation process, including the potential to replace some hard closures with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.

The decision follows engagement with residents, businesses, emergency services and other interested parties throughout the trial period, with the council making some changes to the scheme based on feedback received. Members of the public were also able to comment on the scheme through a formal consultation that ran from March to November 2021.

Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has engaged with us and sent us feedback on the Cowley LTNs, and the many fellow councillors and local residents who have met with me on site. We are aware that there are strong views across the spectrum on these measures, but we are committed to making them work for everyone. 

“While the formal consultation on the scheme has completed, we will continue to monitor the LTNs, listen to our communities and make changes to the scheme where necessary.

“These measures are just one part of our wider strategy to increase sustainable travel in Oxfordshire, tackle the climate emergency and make our roads safer. Evaluation data collected over many months shows encouraging signs of a change in behaviour, however, I recognise that this is a complex picture and not all of the benefits are being felt elsewhere in the area. We are committed to ensuring that everyone who travels in Oxford is able to do so in a safe, sustainable and timely manner.”

The Cowley LTNs were installed under an experimental traffic regulation order (ETRO) in March 2021 in the Church Cowley, Florence Park and Temple Cowley areas of the city. These were chosen as priority areas for LTNs as they have high volumes of through traffic on residential roads and the potential to create improved cycle routes.

Planters, bollards, waiting restrictions and signs are used to restrict the access of motor traffic and encourage more walking, cycling and scooting.

An ETRO can be in place for a maximum time of 18 months, which is why the cabinet were asked to decide whether to make the scheme permanent or remove it altogether.


Notes to editors

LTNs are areas where motorised traffic is prevented from travelling through a residential area by use of planters, bollards or other measures. They create quieter, safer and more liveable streets and an attractive environment for walking and cycling.