A BAN on traffic taking a rat run from Oxford’s ring road through the Cutteslowe estate in North Oxford is not being properly enforced, according to a leading city and county councillor.

Councillor Jean Fooks, who is Liberal Democrat city councillor for Summertown, and county councillor for Wolvercote and Summertown, said residents have raised concerns about the number of vehicles ignoring the left turn ban from the A40 Elsfield Way into Jackson Road.

Mrs Fooks flagged up the problem with police and was told that when they fined drivers the fines were returned because the traffic regulation order introducing the ban was not properly in place.

Mrs Fooks said: “Drivers have been ignoring the ban on and off since it was introduced.

“When residents raised the matter with me I mentioned it to police but was told they have had to return fines because the ban could not be legally upheld.

“As a result I have raised this with county council officers and I’m waiting to hear back from them.

“Drivers with local knowledge are turning left into the estate to avoid the queue for the Cutteslowe roundabout and get through to Banbury Road.”

Allie Noel, manager of Cutteslowe Community Centre in Wren Road, who lives in Harefields, North Oxford, said: “Residents in Cutteslowe are very concerned about this.

“It’s quite dangerous to make a left turn off the A40 into Jackson Road now because of the road layout. It’s supposed to be a 20mph speed limit on the estate but the drivers taking a rat run don’t stick to that.

“Parents who take their children to school in the area will not be pleased to hear that there is a problem with the ban on left turns.”

The ban was first introduced by the county council in 2005 as a safety measure to cut out rat running by drivers heading west from the Headington direction.

The restriction was first brought in on a temporary basis as an experimental traffic order.

County council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said: “This traffic regulation order was made permanent in 2007. It is legal and enforceable. We were made aware by the police earlier this month about the difficulties they faced regarding fixed penalty notices issued at this location.”

Inspector Andy Thompson, of Thames Valley Police, said: “If there is a problem with the left turn ban we will work with the council on behalf of residents to rectify the matter.”