A PETITION to get rid of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in Oxford has gained over 1,000 signatures.

Since the LTNs were introduced earlier this month, residents in Cowley have been divided.

While some residents believe locals can reap the benefits with quieter streets and lower levels of traffic pollution, others have been angered saying the scheme has caused issues for emergency workers reaching their destinations and created traffic on other roads.

Read also: Locals come out in support of Cowley LTNs as row rages on

The petition, created on 'iPetitions', wants to 'end traffic barriers in Littlemore and Cowley'. 

At the time of writing it has received 1,269 signatures.

On the website it reads: "Traffic barriers in Littlemore and Cowley for the so-called 'Low Traffic Areas' are trapping local residents and worsening local traffic.

"They are unjust, and we call upon Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council to end the trial scheme immediately."

Read here: New roadblocks cause 'chaos for emergency workers'

The LTN was implemented by Oxfordshire County Council in the Cowley and Littlemore area at the beginning of the month as part of a six-month trial.

The council's aims in introducing LTNs is to create quieter and safer streets for residents while encouraging them to become more active and environmentally-friendly.

The petition was created by Daniel Stafford, who is running as the Conservative candidate for Littlemore in the Oxford City Council May election.

Mr Stafford told the Oxford Mail: "In just under three days, 1,200 residents expressed serious concerns with the new Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) implemented in Cowley, responding to the petition I set up.

WATCH: Frustrated motorists drive on pavement to get around boulders

"This remarkable and unprecedented public discontent reflects real anger that residents were not properly consulted on how the project would impact them.

"We must be clear – the impact of the LTN on Littlemore is far more than two additional minutes to journey times. Littlemore parish is already one of the most disconnected parts of Oxford, with infrequent buses and poor connections even to the local area.

"By closing off access roads, especially on Bartholomew Road and where Littlemore Road meets Cowley Road, traffic is being forced onto roads that were already busy, and cannot cope with the increased traffic."

Read here: Cameras and bollards installed to stop angry motorists driving on pavements

Another petition has also been created on Change.org to 'Remove the Low Traffic Neighbourhood road closures in Oxford'.

The petition created by Ravi Sundar, at time of writing has 465 signatures.

It asks specifically to remove the LTNs Church Cowley, Florence Park & Temple Cowley areas of Oxford.

In the council's preliminary consultation, which had over 1,000 responses from residents, 46 per cent in Church Cowley fully supported the scheme, while in Temple Cowley 59 per cent of those who responded said they fully supported the LTN proposal.

In Florence Park 70 per cent of residents who responded to the petition said they fully support the new scheme.

Read here: Cowley's Low Traffic Neighbourhoods mapped

Mr Stafford added: "I started the petition because this is already having a negative impact on the quality of life of Littlemore residents.

"It is only going to get worse. We do not disagree with the need to care for our city and planet, but we do insist that the cost of this specific measure is falling unfairly and disproportionately upon Littlemore residents.

"These are not ‘rat-runs’ for Littlemore residents – they are vital link roads to connect us to the rest of Oxford, and not least to our local hub in Cowley centre."

Dr Amar Latif, Labour Candidate for Cowley Ward and local resident, said: “The petition shows the strength of feeling amongst some residents and unfortunately is a reflection of the poor consultation and implementation of the scheme by Oxfordshire County Council.

"This is particularly the case in the Church Cowley LTN area. The first that many residents of Church Cowley knew about the scheme was when they encountered the barriers on their way home from work.

"The letters advising that the LTNs were going ahead arrived after the implementation in some instances, which is obviously unacceptable.”

A spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council said: "The county council is aware that there is a spectrum of opinions on the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods now implemented across Church Cowley, Florence Park and Temple Cowley as part of the active travel grant.

"We held a consultation late in 2020 on these to allow residents and organisations a voice to offer their opinions and suggestions on how to best implement the work.

"Residents should note that the scheme is temporary and cannot be made permanent under the rules of its experimental status."

If residents, businesses, or visitors would like further information or to comment on the open consultation, the council invites responses to the consultation at this link: https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/Cowley_ExperimentalLowTraffic/consultationHome

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