A SENIOR Oxfordshire councillor will no longer decide whether more Low Traffic Neighbours will be installed throughout the city.

Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highway management, announced today that he would no longer be deciding whether a controversial LTN trials scheme would be implemented in East Oxford.

He was due to make the decision on December 16 but has now deferred the resolution to the leader of the council Liz Leffman.

The change follows allegations that Mr Bearder may not be able to make the decision in ‘good faith’ due to concerns about his impartiality.

This week Tory councillors came out in force to question whether the decision had been pre-determined.

The concerns follow a video posted on Twitter by Mr Bearder in October that suggested it was the school run causing traffic in Oxford, not LTNs.

Several complaints were made to the council’s monitoring officer, querying whether the cabinet member's behavior had broken the code of conduct.

Mr Bearder has now said that he has taken the decision to no longer make the decision about whether the trial scheme goes ahead to allay any concerns about his impartiality.

Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said: “I’m clear that I have an open mind on this subject. I want the public to have every confidence in the decision to be made on Thursday. I’m stepping away from the particular decision next week and I have asked the Leader to take the decision on this occasion.

“This is to demonstrate my impartiality and to enable focus on the issues in question.”

Fellow county councillor, Liam Walker, who had raised concerned about Mr Bearder’s impartiality said he ‘wholeheartedly’ agreed with the decision.

He said: “Given his recent Twitter video and a number of complaints submitted to the county council about his impartial view on LTNs he should be removed completely from any further decisions on them.

“As cabinet member for highways management, he must remain neutral on these trials and not instead encourage more division on social media especially given the major impact these schemes are having on Oxford residents and commuters.

“The leader of the council not having the confidence in her cabinet member to make a decision raises some serious questions about whether Cllr Bearder has breached any rules.”

The decision about whether LTNs will be installed in Oxford as an Experimental Traffic Order will be decided by Ms Leffman on Thursday.

An LTN trial is already running in Church Cowley, Temple Cowley and Florence Park.

It will be decided whether the Cowley scheme will be made permanent in February 2022.