Next steps for east Oxford LTNs
The future of trial measures designed to improve residents’ experience of walking and cycling in east Oxford will be discussed by Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet on 17 October.
County council officers, in their report ahead of the decision meeting, have recommended that the east Oxford low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) stay in place, with changes to improve them. The recommendation follows extensive monitoring and evaluation including two public consultation periods.
Proposed changes include the use of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras in place of physical closures in Divinity Road, James Street and Magdalen Road and the introduction of a bollard in Jeune Street. The council’s cabinet will also be asked to approve the investigation of further measures to improve public transport journey times across the city.
LTNs are designed to work together with other measures including the planned traffic filters trial to reduce traffic levels and encourage more walking, cycling and public transport use. Traffic filters are intended to reduce traffic levels in Oxford by managing the use of certain roads in the city by private cars. The trial will begin when Network Rail’s work to improve Oxford Rail Station is completed (expected to be autumn 2024).
Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport Management, said: “For a long time, LTNs have been one part of a wider set of proposals designed to increase walking, cycling and public transport use around Oxford.
“The decision on whether to continue with the measures in east Oxford will be made by the county council’s cabinet with reference to a significant body of evidence made up of reports from public consultations together with monitoring and evaluation information, including transport and air quality data and feedback from stakeholders.”
Monitoring data shows overall increases in cycling and decreases in private car use and air pollution inside LTN areas. Outside LTN areas, data shows an overall increase in journey times but also an increase in cycling at all measured locations. Although overall traffic levels and pollution have increased outside LTN areas from immediately before the trial, levels of air pollution remain lower than in 2019. The proposed changes and further investigative measures aim to address impacts raised during the monitoring period, particularly on public transport and emergency services.
If the decision is made to continue with the east Oxford LTNs, the county council’s cabinet will then consider whether to approve exemptions for the ANPR cameras for emergency services, waste and postal vehicles, taxis and private hire vehicles. The cabinet will also consider the relocation of a residential parking bay in Marston Street and moving the bollard location in Bullingdon Road.
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Notes to editors
- LTNs are areas where motorised traffic is prevented from taking shortcuts through a residential area. They are part of the county council’s local transport and connectivity plan and are intended to make residential streets safer and more comfortable for walking, wheeling, and cycling.
- The east Oxford LTNs were installed as a trial in the Divinity Road, St Clement’s and St Mary’s areas in May 2022. Their trial is due to finish on 19 November 2023.
- The east Oxford LTNs were consulted on between March and June 2021, May and November 2022 and 5 June to 20 July 2023. More details can be found on Oxfordshire County Council’s website.
- The county council’s cabinet will consider reports from public consultations, monitoring and evaluation information, including transport and air quality data, feedback from stakeholders, and contributions from speakers at the meeting, in making its decision on 17 October.
- The full list of proposed changes and mitigations is:
- Approve the replacement of the bollards in Divinity Road, James Street and Magdalen Road with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.
- Approve exemptions for emergency services, waste and postal vehicles, taxi and private hire vehicles through the restrictions enforced by ANPR on Divinity Road, James Street and Magdalen Road. The use of ANPR and/or exemptions will be reviewed prior to and during the trial of the traffic filters.
- Approve the introduction of bollards and/or planters at the junction of Jeune Street and St. Clement’s, and make Jeune Street two-way south of the restriction.
- Relocate the residential parking bay in Marston Street.
- Move the filter location on Bullingdon Road to the southwest to a point to the east of the junction with Hurst Street.
- Approve the investigation of measures to improve public transport journey times across the city and resource the interventions.
- Taxis and private hire vehicles are considered part of the public transport network in Oxfordshire, alongside buses, scheduled coaches and rail. Our transport user hierarchy encourages the development of schemes that prioritise walking, cycling and public transport use. For more information, read pages 37 - 38 of the county council’s local transport and connectivity plan.