Three roads in Cowley to be managed by ANPR in place of bollards

Oxfordshire County Council has approved proposals to install automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras at three low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) closure points in Cowley – on Littlemore Road, Crescent Road and Littlehay Road.

The decision was made today (Thursday 22 June) by the cabinet member for highways management at a delegated cabinet member decision meeting.

The use of ANPR cameras at certain locations would allow flexibility for amendments to bus services, allow for increased police patrols and offer network flexibility during unforeseen and/or emergency situations on the highway network.  

Motor vehicles without exemptions who drive through these points will be subject to a penalty charge notice*. Exemptions have been approved for emergency services, buses, taxis, private hire vehicles and universal service provider (postal service) vehicles.

The decision was made with commitments to carry out further review into:

  • Blue Badge holders’ needs
  • NHS carers and other carers’ needs
  • road safety around the Littlehay Road junction
  • potential traffic calming need in relation to the steepness of Crescent Road.

Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, assured the meeting of the council’s ongoing review and monitoring of its highways programmes and said: The LTNs help to achieve some of the council’s priorities to prioritise the health and wellbeing of residents and invest in an inclusive, integrated and sustainable transport network.

“What we’re talking about today is not the principle of whether the LTNs should be there or not but about the method of enforcement and relatively minor changes to how they are enforced.

“With the commitments to review and with the provisos about keeping in touch with interested stakeholders on specific issues, I am agreeing to the two recommendations as set out in the report.”

Proposals were open for public consultation between 6 March and 17 April 2023. Exemptions were originally presented only for Littlemore Road during the consultation. Following this feedback and further discussion with emergency services, interest groups and local people, the council was asked to consider the same exemptions for Crescent Road and Littlehay Road as part of any decision making.

Exemptions will continue to be reviewed across all LTN ANPR camera locations to ensure the aims of the LTNs – to reduce through-traffic, and make the roads quieter and safer for walking, wheeling and cycling – are still achievable.

LTNs are part of the county council’s local transport and connectivity plan, designed to improve travel and transport. As part of the central Oxfordshire travel plan, they are designed to work together with other measures to reduce congestion and improve air quality.

The locations for the ANPR cameras were chosen following reviews with the emergency services and site visits. The cameras are expected to be installed early next year.

The full report to cabinet is available on Oxfordshire County Council’s website (pages 9 - 64)


For more information about this release contact the Oxfordshire County Council communications team on 01865 323870 or email press.office@oxfordshire.gov.uk


Notes to editors

  • Low traffic neighbourhoods (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.
  • The Cowley LTNs were installed 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.
  • The decision to implement ANPR proposals reflects a part of the ongoing further monitoring and engagement committed to by the council in confirming that the Cowley LTNs would stay in place at a cabinet meeting in July 2022.
  • *The cameras will be funded by revenue from penalty charge notices. Any funds collected in this way are restricted to being used for ANPR maintenance and operation, or relevant highways improvements.