Residents staged a protest against Oxfordshire County Council after highways bosses failed to prevent their street being used as a rat run.

People living in St Bernard’s Road gathered today to highlight the council’s failure to introduce a no right turn.

They say it is vital after the barrier went up last year at Walton Street’s junction with Beaumont Street and Worcester Street, on an 18-month experimental basis.

Oxford Mail:

The Walton Street barrier

Following the barrier’s introduction, residents living in side streets off Walton Street have been plagued by extra traffic as it leaves the area and returns to Woodstock Road.

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Cardiologist Patrick Davey, who has lived in St Bernard’s Road since 2008, said the council had promised residents a no right turn that could be legally enforced but had only been able to provide a sign advising drivers not to use the road.

Oxford Mail: Oxford Mail:

Protesters gather

He added: “The houses are close to the road in our street so it’s noisy.

“We want drivers instead to continue on Kingston Road and use St Margaret’s Road instead.

“Police have told us that a no right turn would be enforceable."

However, the council said it was unable to enforce it.

County council spokesman Marc Evans said: “The county council have been assessing the traffic situation within the Walton Manor area. We are aware that there have been some affected streets following the introduction of the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order at the south end of Walton Street.

Oxford Mail:

A youngster joins the protest

“We would like to apologise to the residents that have been affected by increased traffic flows within their streets.

“The authority stated at the Cabinet Member’s Decisions meeting on August 6 of this year that the existing traffic management and signage within the area would be retained.

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“The authority has previously looked at a further Experimental Traffic Regulation Order that would seek to introduce a no right turn in to St Bernard’s Road from Walton Street (heading northbound).

“The authority has trialled a temporary version of this change and it has resulted in drivers going the wrong way round the roundabout. Due to a lack of moving traffic violation powers, the authority is unable to enforce this change.

“We are aware that colleagues at Thames Valley Police have issued several penalty notices to drivers that have undertaken this illegal manoeuvre, however they simply do not have the resource to be in attendance all the time.

Oxford Mail:

The council is urged to move the barrier

"The council recently submitted a bid to the Department for Transport as part of the Active Travel measures to investigate a Low Traffic Neighbourhood for the whole Walton Manor Area. We believe that this would deliver a balanced and equitable traffic solution for the whole area. If the bid is successful we will be working closely with local residents and business associations."

Oxford Mail:

The street was initially closed for roadworks

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Mr Davey welcomed the apology and said residents would continue to campaign for the no right turn to be enforced.