DATA used to justify controversial low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) were incorrect, the Department for Transport has admitted.

The bollards, which sees the prevention of through traffic, via planters or bollards, making neighbourhoods quieter, has divided communities in the city with the initiative made permanent in Cowley, in July.

Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, introduced the bollards as a trial in East Oxford in May after the Government produced a report which found increased traffic on resident streets from 2009 to 2019.

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It then allocated £225 million in emergency funding for councils to encourage walking and cycling.

However, The Telegraph revealed this week that the findings, which were frequently used to justify the schemes, were significantly over-counted by the Department of Transport (DfT).

For example, in London where figures suggested an almost 60 per cent rise on the smallest roads, there had actually been no increase over the decade.

Across the UK, the data showed that miles driven on minor roads rose by just under 10 per cent rather than the 26 per cent originally suggested.

Speaking to The Telegraph, a DfT spokesman said: “The figures used at the time were based on the most accurate data available.”

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LTNs across Oxford have been fiercely criticised for displacing traffic onto busier roads. Many have even been vandalised including being set on fire and cut down.

Protests have urged the authority to remove the bollards but the council remain undeterred by the criticism.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing:

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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