“LOW-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) have transformed our neighbourhood,” says residents of East Oxford.

Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, introduced the bollards earlier this year as a trial but the scheme has divided communities.

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

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However, residents in East Oxford have praised the bollards saying streets are safer, quieter and the air is ‘less polluted’.

James Schumann, who lives near Divinity Road, added: “LTNs have transformed our neighbourhood, making it safe for cycling and walking - we see huge numbers of schoolchildren and their parents travelling to school now.

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“The difference really is stark. It’s very frustrating however that the council is not properly enforcing the scheme, using the ineffective ‘bendy bollards’ so there is a constant ‘cat and mouse’ to replace the damaged and removed bollards.”

Another resident, Ivon Asquith, said: “The streets are safer. There are far fewer cars and they go more slowly. The air is less polluted and thus healthier.

“The area is quieter. Social life is enhanced by neighbours being able to walk around more freely. It is easier as well as safer to cycle and to walk, so people are making less use of their cars.

“We no longer have 5,000 cars a day going down Divinity Road, causing congestion, pollution, traffic jams and road rage.

“A slightly longer journey is a tiny price to pay for all the benefits. That is why a large majority of residents strongly support the LTN scheme.”

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Resident Theo Hopkins acted as a ‘human bollard’ when one of the LTNs near his home was destroyed.

He said: “I’m 79, I have been run into by a car trying to push me out of the way. Slight bruise on my leg. I refused to give way, I won the stand-off”


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: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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