AN official report by Oxfordshire County Council shows traffic will allegedly fall by around one third as a result of traffic filters.

Local environmental groups have welcomed the report which shows that traffic could fall by about 35 per cent in Oxford city centre as a result of the proposed traffic filters.

With county councillors due to meet to discuss the scheme at a meeting of the scrutiny committee meeting on Wednesday November 16, ahead of a final decision by the cabinet on November 29, council officers have recommended that the traffic filters scheme be approved, with some minor amendments.

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The reports published predicts that:

  • Traffic is forecast to reduce by 20 per cent within the city and 35 per cent within the city centre, which would mean 24,800 fewer car trips on an average weekday.
  • Around 90 per cent of journeys made in Oxford (by all modes of transport) will either be unaffected by the traffic filters or benefit from them; no part of the city will become inaccessible by car
  • Rush-hour bus journeys are expected to be 15 per cent quicker, 10 per cent quicker overall.
  • Walking and cycling trips on an average weekday are forecast to increase by almost 20,000.
  • Road casualties are predicted to fall by 9 per cent
  • Air pollution (measured as NO2 concentrations) is predicted to decrease at 91 per cent of monitoring locations as a result of the filters.

Robin Tucker, co-chair of the Coalition of Healthy Streets and Active Travel Oxfordshire, an alliance of 16 green groups including Oxfordshire Liveable Streets, said: “This is really positive news, and is an important step along the road to get Oxford moving.

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“Whether you walk, drive or cycle, or all three, we all want our city to be a place that is easier to get around, has less pollution and supports employees, deliveries and customers getting to Oxford businesses. 

“While we’d like to see fewer exemptions, this official report based on traffic modelling shows what we’ve been arguing for some time, that the proposed filters would reduce congestion, cut journey times for buses and make our city a safer place to walk and cycle.

“It’s no wonder local residents back the plans two to one, showing the democratic will for these changes.”

An independent survey conducted by YouGov showed that 60 percent of Oxford residents supported the plans to create six traffic filters while only 31 percent opposed the plans.

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Oxford’s largest employer, the University of Oxford, as well as the Oxford Bus Company, and other businesses are supporting the scheme.

To read the report, visit the scrutiny comittee agenda on the council website.


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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