Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet will be discussing the future of low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) across the east of Oxford on 17 October, with a report ahead of the meeting recommending that the schemes in place in this area be kept on.
County council officers have said this recommendation follows ‘extensive monitoring and evaluation’, which includes two public consultations.
Some of the proposals to be discussed include the introduction of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras as an alternative to physical closures in Divinity Road, James Street and Magdalen Road, as well as the introduction of a bollard in Jeune Street.
The cabinet will also be asked to approve the investigation of other initiatives to improve public transport services across the city.
LTNs have been developed for use in conjunction with other traffic management measures; in Oxfordshire, this includes planned traffic filters to reduce traffic levels and encourage more walking, cycling and public transport use.
The local authority has said monitoring data has revealed increases in cycling and a decline in both air pollution and private vehicle use within LTN areas.
Oxford already has one of the highest rates of cycling in the UK. The Department for Transport’s Active Lives survey showed the city was second in the UK for cycling, with 35% of adults in the city using a bike at least once per week, behind only Cambridge at 50%.
Cycling has also increased outside LTN areas, according to the same data, as well as an increase in journey times.
Cllr Andrew Gant, cabinet member for transport management, Oxfordshire County Council, 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.”
Though total traffic levels and pollution are now higher outside LTN areas, compared with measurements taken before the trial, overall levels of air pollution remain lower than in 2019, the council added.
If the east Oxford LTNs are kept in place, the county council’s cabinet will also consider whether to approve exemptions for the ANPR cameras for emergency services, waste and postal vehicles, taxis and private hire vehicles.
Oxfordshire County Council is a finalist for the second annual CiTTi Awards in Clean Air – Awards Projects and The Road User Charging Award categories. The ceremony will be held on 21 November 2023 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector – and to book your table today!