An Oxford business owner who was forced to close her Yoga studio due to “LTNs destroying trade” has said the county council’s traffic measures are “ruining businesses”.

Caroline Gozzi, the owner of YogaVenue, ran her thriving yoga studio business for 12 years on Avenue Lane and managed to survive two years of lockdowns before low traffic neighbourhoods were introduced.

Ms Gozzi said the two years of lockdowns during the pandemic had been tough and it was difficult opening up her business to a “massively different situation”.

Oxford Mail: Site of YogaVenue in East OxfordSite of YogaVenue in East Oxford (Image: Google images)

READ MORE: Abingdon family health centre expansion plans lodged

However, Ms Gozzi said low traffic neighbourhoods inflicted “another blow” and she claimed the council had made it “harder and harder for businesses to work in East Oxford”.

Ms Gozzi said: “The council lives in a completely unreal world.

“It needs to recognise people do drive to places where they work.”

The low traffic neighbourhoods were first introduced in Church Cowley, Temple Cowley and Florence Parks in February 2021 and were later installed in Divinity Road, St Clement’s and St Mary’s in East Oxford.

Oxfordshire County Council installed them with the aim of reducing traffic and making neighbourhoods quieter.

READ MORE: Oxford bomb incident affecting trains to Didcot explained

Ms Gozzi said her staff felt “very vulnerable” leaving in the evenings and not being able to drive home due to a lack of parking close by.

YogaVenue’s trade was reduced by as much as 30 per cent since LTNs were introduced and Ms Gozzi said the council was never interested in engaging, even when business owners made efforts to reach out.


Oxford Mail: Sign up to Ed Halford's free weekly Politics newsletter here Sign up to Ed Halford's free weekly Politics newsletter here (Image: Newsquest)

Ms Gozzi has another YogaVenu branch , the only one left, on Banbury Road in Summertown but she said this was no good for the community in East Oxford.

READ MORE: Oxford cycling horror over 'dangerous' route amid closure

She said: “Closing the business will be a real loss to the community as we gave them an activity which helped them mentally and physically.”

A county council spokeswoman has emphasised it has “consulted and engaged with our communities on LTNs and will continue to do so”.

She added: “There are a wide range of opinions about them.”

Oxford Mail: Site of the YogaVenue in East OxfordSite of the YogaVenue in East Oxford (Image: Ed Halford)

Ms Gozzi said there were a “combination of factors” behind the studio’s closure in East Oxford but LTNs were “massively to blame” for the studio closing its doors on May 14.

READ MORE: Oxford Odeon: Demolition 'culture wrecking ball over heads'

Ms Gozzi, who lives in Jericho, accused the council of pursuing a “hidden agenda” which was to the detriment of small businesses.

She said: “Businesses are moving out of Oxford.

“If the council wants the city to be a campus university, they need to be honest about this.”

READ MORE: Oxford traffic filters: Driving test centre future uncertain

Ms Gozzi said “most upsetting” was the fact her business had employed local people and provided a “unique service” which the community would miss.

A council spokeswoman said: “Low traffic neighbourhoods in Oxford are intended to make residential streets safer and more comfortable for walking and cycling. It is still possible to navigate them by car.

“The east Oxford LTNs are a trial and the county council will make a decision later this year on whether to continue it.”

Help support trusted local news 

Sign up for a digital subscription now: 

As a digital subscriber you will get: 

  • Unlimited access to the Oxford Mail website 
  • Advert-light access 
  • Reader rewards 
  • Full access to our app 

About the author 

To sign up to Ed's weekly Politics newsletter, click here:

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.

Ed’s weekly politics newsletter is released every Saturday morning.