Oxford MP Anneliese Dodds has reacted to a council report which revealed that low traffic neighbourhood filters can cause costly delays to life threatening calls.

A county council evaluation report analysed the impact of LTNs on ambulance response times when ambulances would be forced to re-route.

The report found the traffic measures can cause between 35 to 45 second delays to South Central Ambulance Service’s response times in East Oxford for life threatening, emergency and urgency calls.

READ MORE: Oxford LTN delays risk £650,000 strain on NHS resources

Anneliese Dodds, Oxford East MP, has since told the Oxford Mail exclusively that it is “important” the county council now works with the ambulance service “closely” as part of its consultation on changes to the LTN scheme.

The report used the ambulance service’s data between May 1, 2022, and November 13, 2022, and found the LTNs could cause the response time to life threatening cases in East Oxford to be delayed by 45 seconds.

A 40 second delay is a significant delay given that the average response time target for life threatening calls is seven minutes.


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READ MORE: Oxford LTNs cause delays to life threatening calls

However, Ms Dodds blamed the government for poor response times and said it needed to “get a grip on ambulance response times”.

She said: “We have seen an enormous hike in response times not just here in Oxford but right across the country, with people often waiting for hours for an ambulance and for far too long even in extreme emergencies.

“Despite the amazing hard work of their staff, South Central Ambulance Service is reaching category two emergencies - such as strokes - in an average of 32 minutes, almost double the target response time of 18 minutes.

“To have people waiting for so long is not acceptable.”

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The council has stressed the report’s data is based on a re-routing of the vehicles rather than allowing emergency services to take the bollards down.

The findings of the report’s modelling led to calls for county cabinet members Andrew Gant and Duncan Enright to resign.

Both Mr Gant and Mr Enright have failed to comment individually.

In Cowley, the research showed that life threatening calls could be delayed by three seconds and emergency calls by six seconds.

The report also found the impact of LTNs on ambulance response times was “sufficient” enough to have a “cost implication” of £650,000.

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Conservative and county councillor Eddie Reeves said: “Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors have serious questions to answer.

"This vital information should have been released in an open and transparent manner, rather than being buried at the back of a long consultation document that most members of the public will never see.

“Leaving aside the tragic human cost, the financial cost alone to our NHS trust is given as at £650,000 and would be as high as £10 million if LTNs were expanded across our NHS area.”

The Optima Predict event simulation platform was used to come up with these findings and this platform assesses the impact on response time of introducing LTN filters against a baseline of the prevailing response time.

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The county council is holding a six-week consultation to gather views on proposed changes to the LTNs in East Oxford.

The LTNs on Divinity Road, St Clement’s and St Mary’s were originally introduced on a trial basis and Mr Gant said he was pleased the council was giving residents “another opportunity to offer detailed feedback”.

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman said: “The east Oxford low traffic neighbourhoods were introduced on an experimental basis in May 2022, and the trial is on-going.

“The council has been gathering and analysing the first year’s worth of feedback to understand the trial’s impact and to help inform future decision making.

“We have listened to this feedback and are proposing some changes which could be introduced if the council decides to continue with the LTNs.

“Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) is being proposed as a result of ongoing engagement with the emergency services.

“A six-week consultation opened this week to gather views on the proposed changes and understand east Oxford LTNs’ impact since new bollards were introduced in March.

“Modelling emergency services response time delay using simulation forms part of the monitoring and evaluation of the east Oxford LTNs.

“The simulation is based on re-routing the vehicles rather than allowing emergency services to take the bollards down.

“A snapshot report, which includes simulation data on response times, became available in May.

“Full analysis is being undertaken over the summer and will be published to support the cabinet decision, expected in October, on whether the LTNs should become permanent.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “No one should have to wait longer than necessary to access urgent and emergency care, and waiting times have substantially reduced from the peak of winter pressures in December.

“Our Urgent and Emergency Care Recovery Plan will allow people to be seen quicker by scaling up community teams, expanding virtual wards, and getting 800 new ambulances on the road.

“This is on top of £750 million we’ve provided this winter to speed up hospital discharge and free up beds and up to £14.1 billion for health and social care over the next two years, on top of record funding.”

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Ed specialises in writing political stories for the Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times. 

He joined in the team in February 2023, after completing a History undergraduate degree at the University of York and studying for his NCTJ diploma in London.

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