An Oxford hotelier has said he understands why businesses are afraid of speaking out against the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and traffic filters.

Jeremy Mogford, the owner of Old Bank Hotel in High Street and Old Parsonage Hotel in Banbury Road, said people in Oxford were starting to hear about the “first repercussions of the policy to introduce LTNs and traffic filters".

Oxfordshire County Council approved plans for six traffic filters in Oxford at the end of 2022 and these filters will be implemented from January 2024.

Mr Mogford said: “We are seeing the effects of the first implementation of LTNs in Cowley Road.

“I know a lot of businesses which are frightened of the repercussions of expressing their views.

“A lot of the university colleges are frightened of expressing their views on the traffic filters because they are concerned about the repercussions from their students who may disapprove.”

Mr Mogford’s hospitality group The Oxford Collection donated as much as £5,000 to a Go Fund Me appeal which aims to raise money so the introduction of the filters can be legally challenged.

But it comes after Mr Mogford has come under scrutiny recently due to his comments linking the Holocaust with Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs).

READ MORE: Oxford traffic filters fundraiser to mount legal challenge

The filters will block access to St Cross Road, Thames Street, St Clement’s and Hythe Bridge Street seven days a week from 7am to 7pm.

The ‘Stop Oxford’s Traffic Filters’ fundraiser has so far raised £52,700 of the £80,000 goal.

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Mr Mogford said the issue was that businesses in Oxford were never properly consulted about new traffic reduction measures.

He said: “We have not been consulted and at no time have councillors come and said this is what we are thinking and what do you think?

“It was a very hard consultation to answer and express one’s true views.

“They have ignored the consultation and I don’t think the council is putting business first.”

The main criticism Mr Mogford levelled at Oxfordshire County Council was that councillors who didn’t live in Oxford were legislating without listening to the businesses and people who lived in the city.

He explained: “Councillors from outside Oxford are the ones who are legislating for what is going to happen in the centre of Oxford and affect people who live in Oxford.

“That is wrong in itself.

“There is a steam rolling of their vision for the centre of Oxford which is taking precedence over what we as businesses might think.”

READ MORE: Oxford hotelier apologises after Holocaust comments

Mr Mogford also expressed the “concern” that far-right activists who attended the anti-LTN protest on Broad Street were taking away attention from the genuine concerns of small business owners.

He added: “This bandwagon which we saw part of on the Saturday is definitely muddying the water.”

Mr Mogford said the traffic reduction measures had made Oxford a less attractive destination for people to visit compared to other cities such as Bath.

He said: “It is too difficult to get into. You can’t park if you come by car.

"This has grown existentially over the years, and I care about Oxford which is why I stuck my head above the parapet.”

Mr Mogford, who is also a member of the Oxford Business Action Group, said the main issue was Oxfordshire County Council not having a “real vision". 

He added: “I am very happy to debate with anyone.”

A spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council said: “The traffic filters are a part of the Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan, a strategy that sets out a range of schemes intended to tackle Oxford’s issues with traffic congestion and air quality and promote active travel.

"The consultation was intended to understand how people feel about the proposals and clearly identify concerns and benefits raised by responders, to best inform the decision-making process.

"It is important to recognise that a public consultation is not a vote, but an opportunity to gather a range of insights, views and feedback on proposals before any decisions are made.

"We have received and continue to receive a breadth of feedback including concerns and recommendations in relation to the traffic filters including from residents, business owners and visitors to the city.

"Although the online consultation has now closed we encourage people to continue sharing their feedback with us.”