Ending of experimental closure of Walton Street in Oxford to be considered

A recommendation to remove an experimental closure of a road in Oxford could pave the way for a future low-traffic neighbourhood if approved.

Oxfordshire County Council has an experimental traffic order on Walton Street which has been closed at its junction with Beaumont Street since mid-2019.

The aims of the arrangements were to prevent rat-running by people who do not live in the area, improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians and improve air quality.

The county council implemented a trial closure of Walton Street at its junction with Beaumont Street, which is consistent with its transport strategy to prioritise sustainable transport modes and improve air quality, following feedback from local people after the road was initially closed for repairs. The purpose of the trial was to assess whether a more permanent closure would be beneficial. 

To assess the closure the council put in an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order which could stay in place for up to 18 months with the first six months serving as a consultation period where anyone could have a say on how the arrangements are working.

A report to the Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, Cllr Yvonne Constance, recommends removing the experimental order and associated traffic management on the basis that other possible changes to the city’s transport arrangements are now being considered and developed earlier than planned as part of the Active Travel Covid recovery programme.

The report and recommendation will be considered at a special meeting on 6 August.