How much will LTNs cost and who will pay for them?

Firstly, it’s important to keep in mind that the status quo is already costing us a fortune.

A recent County Council consultation made a strong case for the benefits of LTNs as high-value low-cost improvements which produce very substantial benefits for local communities [6]. They require fairly low-level engineering infrastructure such as bollards, planters, road markings and signage with relatively low costs.

The recent Access to Headington project will cost around £16m [7] – we anticipate that restricting through-traffic using these low-cost measures will cost only a fraction of that sum (in the region of £150,000 for the whole of Headington). However, although many would say they’re in need of improvement, the Access to Headington cycling routes are largely already in place or in progress and LTNs will maximise the benefit local communities can derive from them by providing safe links between them.

Depending on the outcome of the bid it submitted in August 2020, LTNs in Headington could be implemented from funds Oxfordshire County Council receives from Tranche 2 of the Emergency Active Travel Fund the government launched due to Covid-19, from existing County Council budgets, or from Community Infrastructure Levy funds held by Oxford City Council, of which 25% is ring-fenced for infrastructure projects in Headington. Removing through-traffic offers opportunities for improving the street environment by extending pavements and creating and improving public spaces through planting and other measures. These can be implemented over time to spread costs. However, the actual removal of through-traffic is relatively inexpensive.

[7] Oxfordshire County Council spokesperson, Oxford Mail, 7 September 2019