A FAMILY-RUN fish shop, that has been an Oxford favourite for more than 50 years, fears the plan for more Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) will damage business.

LTNs were introduced in Cowley earlier this year, and last month Oxfordshire County Council, which is implementing the scheme, announced plans for several more LTNs across East Oxford.

Ping Low, who owns specialist aquatic shop The Goldfish Bowl on Magdalen Road, thinks that the new LTNs planned for East Oxford ‘will tear the community apart’.

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Nine new traffic filters are set to be placed in the St Mary’s ward, including one in the middle of Magdalen Road – blocking through traffic between the Iffley Road and Cowley Road.

Mrs Low said: “We are an independent family business that has been running for over 50 years.

“The service providers around here really are the beating heart of East Oxford and the LTN will tear the community apart – it is already causing diversions and difficulties.

“The restricted access and inevitable chaos on the Cowley Road and Iffley Road will be a nightmare, and it will create very realistic issues affecting people’s livelihoods that are the essence of the vibrant life in East Oxford.”

The East Oxford LTN would be part of an Experimental Traffic Order and would last anywhere from six months to eighteen months.

Cabinet members will decide whether to trial the LTN on July 29. If it is passed, the LTNs across St Mary’s, St Clements and Divinity Road will be installed in the Autumn.

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Mrs Low added: “It is not that we are resistant to change, but we feel as though we have not been properly consulted.

“Businesses have been so hurt by this pandemic, and we are still trying to recover. This is what we would like to be doing, to make sure our books are balancing, rather than fighting this cause – but we have to because this is a very emotive issue.”

The scheme in Cowley, which has been in place since March 2021, has been deemed extremely controversial.

While some residents have reaped the rewards of quieter streets to walk children to school safely or cycle to work, others have said traffic has increased and journeys in the car have become longer.

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The Goldfish Bowl owner said: “There are loads of business along Magdalen Road, including three pubs, so here are lots of deliveries happening every day.

“People also still need cars – you can’t put a fish tank on a bicycle.”

A spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council said: “The LTN does not prevent access to properties or businesses but may require slight changes in route.”

See consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk