SOME residents are questioning Oxfordshire County Council’s proposal to close Walton Street to traffic and are calling for it to be reopened.

The street linking the city centre with Jericho and north Oxford was initially shut so that resurfacing repairs could be carried out and sinkholes needed to be fixed.

But the work, which began in July, has now been completed and the council has not yet reopened the route, which connects Worcester Street with Jericho.

READ AGAIN: Will Walton Street be closed to traffic forever?

Barriers have been placed at the Walton Street junction with Worcester Street and Beaumont Street and the traffic lights have been switched off.

Oxford Mail:

Council leaders say this has improved traffic flow to such an extent they are consulting residents on keeping the street closed for up to 18 months, before it could be closed to traffic on a permanent basis.

They are now consulting residents on keeping the road closed for a trial period of up to 18 months and then on a permanent basis after that.

Jericho resident Dave Shepherd said the move was ‘anti-democratic’ and called for the road to be reopened while consultation was taking place.

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TT told “We are local residents, have not been consulted - our preference is to have the road re-opened.

Oxford Mail:

“The closure has caused disruption, increased travel times and heavy traffic on Beaumont Street.”

Homer Simpson commented: Yes traffic may flow through the lights that have been turned off at the Beaumont Street junction but 100 metres further the traffic comes to a halt at the next set of lights!

“And traffic backs up into Beaumont Street!

“This is an outrageous piece of power by councillors and the road should be opened immediately.”

But Shaggydougal said the trial should be given time.

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He added: "While the NIMBYs rejecting this trial should be listened to, it should be remembered it takes time for people to adjust and that’s why these trials are necessary. A trial should also please anyone who objected to Car Free Day on the grounds of it being tokenistic.

“Let the changes bed in and then reconsider. Remember how people compared removing cars from Cornmarket Street to something like an end of days scenario?

Oxford Mail:

“ I suspect few, if any, of those same people would like to see cars reintroduced. Streets free of pollution, noise, traffic, and congestion is something you very quickly get used to.

“It’s also worth remembering that not everyone can drive, or wants to always use their car to drive around our city.

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"Even just a few car-free streets goes a long way to making cities much more attractive places.”

Oxford Mail:

But Jericholiving said: “I live in Jericho and we have not been notified about Walton street being closed permanently.

"Most of the people on our street DO NOT want Walton Street closed permanently.”

A petition calling for the street to be reopened has 13 signatures.