THE COST of a new traffic calming scheme has been called ‘deeply troubling’ by its critics.

An investigation conducted by the Oxford Mail revealed that the cost of Low

Traffic Neighbourhoods installed throughout Oxford was over £100,000.

LTNs include putting planters or barriers on particular streets to stop through-flow traffic to stop ‘rat-running’ and encourage active travel.

Reconnecting Oxford, a group that has openly opposed the LTNs in both Cowley and East Oxford, said the figure was a cause for concern considering the number of people who do not want the scheme in place.

Richard Parnham, the spokesperson for Reconnecting Oxford, said upon seeing the figures: “Oxfordshire County Council has now spent tens of thousands of pounds on LTN schemes that their own consultations tell them that most residents don't want.

"It is deeply troubling to see the cost of the LTN enforcement cameras that were installed barely a month before the decision is made on whether or not to scrap the LTNs.

“It's not difficult to see why residents are frustrated by LTNs.

“Over recent months, residents have suggested numerous alternative ways to increase active travel and reduce congestion, including one-way streets, ‘slow-traffic neighbourhoods’, and improvements to existing cycleways and footpaths.

“These attempts at engagement have been ignored by a council that appears, at any cost, to be pursuing its unpopular LTN schemes."

Supporters of the scheme, however, have praised the cost of the scheme, calling it ‘good value’.

Daniel Pooley, who is a member of Liveable Cowley – a group that supports active travel initiatives, such as the LTNs in Oxford, said: “I am blown away – it’s incredible how cheaply they have done it.

“I think it’s important to consider what you are buying because the question is whether £100,000 is good value for what we have got.

“What we are trying to do is provide active travel so people can easily and happily cycle or walk, use wheelchairs or buggies, we are trying to set that up across Oxford which requires people getting out of their cars if they can, and onto their bikes or onto their feet jogging safely, children walking safely to school.

“This is what we want to do, and this is what the Government wants us to do.”

To pay for the LTN scheme, the council has used funds from an Active Travel grant.

This grant, amounting to almost £3 million, was given to Oxfordshire County

Council to fund active travel schemes such as LTNs and improving cycle routes across the county.

Up to November 20 2021, at least £108,404 had been spent on implementing an LTN in Church Cowley, Temple Cowley, and Florence Park, and conducting consultations for another LTN scheme in East Oxford.

However, this ‘total’ cost excluded the amount of money spent on staff, the consultation period, and consultation activities, such as handing out leaflets – therefore, the actual figure is likely to be much higher.

The council said the full cost was not distinguishable from other projects it was carrying out.

A spokesperson from the county council said: "The council received funding to support the implementation of low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) from the Department for Transport’s active travel fund.

"The costs outlined for consultancy and monitoring refer to services procured for a range of projects across the city and county, and therefore the proportion of money spent specifically on LTNs is lower.”