Cllr Liz Leffman, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, listened to speakers with different views at this morning’s public meeting before reaching her decision to allow the trials to go ahead.
Key points to emerge from the meeting:
- Several speakers acknowledged that LTNs aren’t a panacea and are only one of several complementary measures that are needed to overhaul the way we use and share Oxford’s limited road space.
- Although it would be desirable for all the interlinking measures to be delivered at the same time, it’s unlikely that this will be possible given the piecemeal funding the County receives from central government for active travel measures.
- Oxford City and Oxfordshire County Councils’ joint Connecting Oxford proposals to reduce overall traffic volumes could be at least 18 months from implementation, but we need to make a start with shifting more journeys to active travel now if the Council is to have any chance of meeting its own carbon commitments by 2030.
- LTNs are a necessary step forward in enabling safer walking, wheeling and cycling and thereby reducing private car use; the East Oxford schemes are already funded and not to implement them would be a backwards step that would also risk jeopardising future government funding.
- The East Oxford trials are scheduled to be implemented in late March 2022.
- The outcome of the survey of the Cowley LTN trials will be available before implementation of the East Oxford trials.
- The decision was taken while recognising the need to mitigate the effects on some groups; the Council will continue to consult with groups across the city and survey traffic movements.
A positive step for Headington
The East Oxford LTNs will enable less confident and able road users to take a more direct route between Headington and East Oxford as well as onward to Oxford city centre. The purpose of this is to reduce private car journeys by people who are able to choose another option, thereby freeing up road space for those who need to use their vehicles.
A recording of the full public meeting is available to view here (the meeting starts around 00:15:00 minutes in and Cllr Leffman’s decision starts at around 1:12:00):
Oxfordshire County Council’s announcement following the meeting:
More on the report that informed today’s decision: