Prime minister Rishi Sunak has described “anti-motorist” policies such as low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) as failing to take account of “how families live their lives”.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Sunak reassured motorists that he was “on their side” and a source included in the article said the prime minister was concerned by the “levels of congestion” on roads outside of the LTNs.

Oxfordshire County Council introduced LTNs in Oxford with the aim of reducing through traffic and making neighbourhoods quieter.

READ MORE: Oxford Chinese takeaway: Major revamp and discount

Oxford Mail: Prime Minister Rishi SunakPrime Minister Rishi Sunak (Image: Ben Birchall/PA Wire)

However, since they were introduced, they have caused controversy with East Oxford business owners and have led to householders complaining about displaced traffic.


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)

Mr Sunak has ordered the Department for Transport to carry out a review of LTNs and the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper, has urged local authorities to “review” the traffic measures where they are unpopular.

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Sunak said: “The vast majority of people in the country use their cars to get around and are dependent on their cars.

“I just want to make sure people know that I’m on their side in supporting them to use their cars to do all the things that matter to them.”

* If you would like unlimited access to the Oxford Mail website with an ad-light, user friendly experience, find out more about our subscription offer here

READ MORE: Oxford traffic filter council fact checker 'patronising'

Oxford Mail: LTNs in East Oxford LTNs in East Oxford (Image: Ed Nix)

It is clear Mr Sunak is attempting to pitch himself as the pro-car party leader after the Labour Party’s failure to win the Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat in the recent by-election was blamed on London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans for an extension to the Ultra Low Emissions Zone.

READ MORE: Oxfordshire pension credit trial rolled out with Didcot MP

The county council has promised to continue engaging with householders’ feedback and ran a consultation on the East Oxford LTNs which finished on July 20.

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 Sunday morning.