West Oxfordshire District Council will be meeting next week to consider keeping traffic restrictions in place on Witney High Street after 64 per cent of respondents to a local survey said the restrictions should stay in place.

Councillor Suzi Coul, cabinet member for finance, said: “Residents have been really clear with us in their response to our survey that they feel the limit to traffic in the High Street benefits the town and they would like to see it kept.

“Many town centres across the UK have seen great success as a result of a better environment for pedestrians and we only have to look down the road to Oxford to see the benefit it can have for visitors and shoppers.

“This would still be a temporary arrangement and we would look to work with the county council, local businesses and residents over the coming months to develop a much more comprehensive strategy for improving Witney Town Centre and a more permanent solution to improving pedestrian space in the High Street.

“We do recognise some of the concerns highlighted in the survey, particularly those raised by businesses, and we would want to work closely with them and others to consider those views as we look at a longer term solution.

“As a result of the feedback we have received, we are also proposing that we make some improvements to the current set-up by removing the guard rails and using more attractive planters instead.”

Oxfordshire County Council are the highways authority responsible for implementing any permanent changes to highways, such as pedestrianising areas.

WODC will be working with the County Council on any proposals for permanent changes in future.

The current traffic restrictions were put in place during the pandemic to help people socially distance.

The restrictions were retained as lockdown eased to continue to make it easier for people to socially distance and help reduce Covid-19 levels.

It also gave time to ask residents what they would like to do with the restrictions.