A NUMBER of women have come out in support of the divisive new Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme (LTNs), claiming they fear less for their personal safety with fewer cars on the roads.

When the LTN scheme was introduced last month to areas in Cowley and Florence Park, some residents argued that women may feel unsafe walking around quieter streets, particularly in light of the Sarah Everard case.

Since then, however, women who live in LTN zones have come forward to say they feel no less safe with reduced traffic on the road – and some claim the quieter streets actually make them feel more confident going out alone.

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One woman, from Florence Park, said she now feels safer as a result of the LTNs.

She said: “I always disliked walking past Florence Park at night before the LTNs existed.

“However, whilst the streets were quiet enough for me to feel unsafe, they weren’t quiet enough for me to dare to cycle.

“Now I now feel safe enough to cycle, which will actually make me feel much safer at night.”

The LTNs were introduced in the area by Oxfordshire County Council as part of a six-month trial.

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Much of the opposition to them in Oxford has been based on more traffic congestion on main roads, more money spent on fuel due to longer journeys as there are no longer any rat-runs and worries about delays to emergency services.

Sally Brooking, who lives in another of Oxford's LTN trial areas, praised the scheme.

She said: "As a female resident on an LTN street in Oxford, I now feel safer. I'm safer to cycle, I'm safer walking and my children are safer when using the street.

"The cars would speed up the road, mounting the pavement to pass oncoming traffic, whether or not my children were using that pavement. That was scary and more preventable than a gender motivated attack."

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But Emily Woodsen, another Oxford resident living in an LTN, said she hadn't felt any more or less safe since their introduction.

“As a woman, I can say I feel just as safe," she explained.

“Things which make me feel unsafe walking at night are a lack of light rather than the presence or absence of cars.”

She added: “There have been some people who are anti-LTNs who seem to be trying to link their creation with the tragic death of Sarah Everard.

“Let’s remember the circumstances there - a very busy road and an utter tragedy.”