Have your say on traffic proposals for Witney town centre

People’s views are being sought about proposals to prohibit motor vehicles from using High Street and Market Place in Witney.

Oxfordshire County Council is carrying out a consultation about whether to make the current temporary traffic restrictions permanent. They were brought in as part of COVID-19 regulations to encourage social distancing and will expire on 3 January 2022.

Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “This proposal potentially impacts on everyone in Witney and the surrounding villages, businesses and visitors, so we are keen to receive consultation responses from as many people as possible. That way whatever decision is made will be informed by the widest range of opinion.”

The proposals are being put forward to:

  • help reduce the level of through traffic in Witney High Street and Market Square
  • aid pedestrian accessibility and increase safety
  • aid cycling accessibility and safety
  • improve bus access and bus journey time reliability
  • improve air quality and environment within the conservation area.

Exemptions to the traffic ban would include buses, taxis, vehicles loading/unloading, and those displaying a valid blue badge. Additionally, the existing 30 minute short-stay parking bays along the western side of Market Square would be converted to three hour disabled persons parking places.

There is growing evidence to suggest that cycle and pedestrian-friendly streets can boost footfall and retail sales, helping to revive traditional high streets and town centres by creating more pleasant conditions.

People can take part in the consultation by visiting the council’s digital consultation and engagement platform, Let’s Talk Oxfordshire. The closing date for contributions is 3 December 2021.

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