OXFORD'S controversial Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) are set to get foldable bollards to allow access to emergency services.

It comes after an ambulance had problems getting to a patient because of the fixed barriers which were put in place at the beginning of March.

South Central Ambulance Service said although the man died, the delay caused by the bollards 'played no part' in the man's death.

But now emergency services will be able to cross the barriers with a key as the fire service has asked Oxfordshire County Council to change all bollards to lockable ones.

The council is trialling LTNs for six months across Church Cowley, Temple Cowley and Florence Park.

The scheme is to prevent vehicles using residential streets as 'rat runs', via the installation of planters or bollards while encouraging people to become more active and environmentally-friendly.

The council said it always intended to make the barriers foldable.

A spokesman said: "We had always proposed lockable bollards on certain routes. The fire service has subsequently asked if we could change all bollards being installed within the carriageway to lockable bollards.

"As part of the ongoing consultation process, we are listening to the emergency services and will make amendments where it is deemed appropriate."

Since the implementation of LTNs, locals have been divided over whether they will have a positive or negative impact upon the area.

Within the first week of the trial being implemented, angry motorists were seen driving on the pavements to avoid planters that had been installed to stop through-traffic.

Ravi Sundar, who lives in Church Cowley and opposes the scheme, said: "Cars are part of everyone's life in the modern age and they are not going away no matter what, people like the independence that travelling by car brings.

"It is a harsh reality that the pro-LTN brigade has to accept."

Some residents have fought back in defence of them, claiming ‘the vast majority of locals’ support them.

Mum of two, Lizzie Moore, 36, who lives in the Church Cowley area, said the new scheme has made her feel much safer when walking her two young daughters to nursery each day.

She told us: “One of the most powerful things about this is that even just having some of the filters put in has transformed what was a scary journey, where you feared your child might get hit by a car, to one that is rather pleasant."

According to the council’s preliminary consultation, 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.

You can add your views by visiting www.consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk.