LOW traffic neighbourhoods (LTNS) in Cowley have been recommended to be made permanent despite an overwhelming objection to the measures.

A decision on the future of the Cowley LTNs will be made tomorrow by Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways management, Tim Bearder.

The delegated decision will be made at 10am.

A council report states that Mr Bearder is recommended to make permanent the LTNs in Church Cowley, Florence Park and Temple Cowley.

This is despite a consultation showing that 63 per cent of respondents objected to the measures, with 26 per cent in support. The remaining 11 per cent ‘expressed concerns’.

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The report states the ‘key measures’ of success for any LTN scheme are ‘traffic volumes, pedestrian volumes, cycling volumes, vehicle speed, bus journey times, air quality, impact on emergency services response and a feeling by residents that it is safer or more desirable to use non-vehicular based travel’.

“In line with the objectives of the LTNs, there has been a significant decrease in car traffic volumes and a notable relative increase in cycling and walking levels within the limits of the LTNs,” claims the report.

“There is also some evidence suggesting bus patronage is also starting to increase.

“Overall, air quality monitoring indicates that there is an improvement on LTN boundary roads, although it is noted that the percentage decrease is not as high as other control areas across the city, potentially due to the increased comparative traffic levels on boundary roads compared to control sites.”

Oxford Mail: Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in Cowley started operating in March 2021. Picture: Ed NixLow Traffic Neighbourhoods in Cowley started operating in March 2021. Picture: Ed Nix

If the LTNs are removed, the cost is estimated at £20,000, the report adds.

However, if the LTNs are made permanent, further design work with the community would be required to determine what features would replace the temporary planters.

This could cost between £320,000 and £750,000.

The council report adds: “There is a general feeling within the LTNs that they result in more inconvenience and do impact negatively on the boundary roads, in terms of congestion, trip times and main road residents’ lives.

“But there are also positive impacts such as reduced traffic, improved safety, improved air quality and people are starting to think about alternative travel options.”

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Mr Bearder is also recommended to instruct officers to investigate options to mitigate problems that have come about.

Concerns regarding access at St Frideswide Primary School and St Gregory the Great Catholic School could be addressed by relocating the filter in Rymers Lane and providing an additional filter in Morris Crescent, or introducing single yellow line restrictions in Henley Road, from 8am to 6pm.

Meanwhile, the option to explore access for some groups once automatic number plate recognition cameras are permitted, could alleviate increased journey times for nurses and carers.

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