Politicians behind the low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in Oxford remain "100 per cent committed" to the scheme despite prime minister Rishi Sunak attacking the concept over the weekend. 

Prime minister Rishi Sunak hit out at “anti-motorist” policies and told The Sunday Telegraph that he wanted to reassure motorists he was on “their side”.

Mr Sunak has ordered the Department of Transport to carry out a review of LTNs due to his concerns about levels of congestion on roads outside of the closed off roads.

READ MORE: Oxford LTNs: Rishi Sunak says 'I'm on side of motorists'

Despite Mr Sunak’s attack on the traffic measures, Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways, has said the council remains “absolutely 100 per cent committed” to LTNs.

Mr Gant said the “overall vision and ambition of the council” remained that “congestion is not good for anyone” and he described Mr Sunak’s comments as “profoundly disappointing and utterly wrong”.

In Mr Sunak’s interview with The Sunday Telegraph, he 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.”

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Mr Gant responded by saying Conservative councillors in Oxfordshire were guilty of “rank hypocrisy” and he their failure to propose alternatives to the controversial traffic measures was “frustrating”.

Mr Gant said: “The LTN scheme was set up by the Conservative government to do exactly this.

“They designed these schemes.

“It is rank hypocrisy.”

Oxford Mail: LTNs have been rolled out in east Oxford LTNs have been rolled out in east Oxford

Mr Gant’s attacks were not only aimed at the Conservative Party as he expressed concern that Sir Keir Starmer’s support was wavering after the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election result.

Mr Gant rejected the suggestion that he was watering down the LTNs and said the council would continue to listen.

He highlighted that he had visited businesses a few weeks ago with the cabinet member for travel Duncan Enright.

Mr Gant said householders should not be worried about taxi drivers exploiting the exemptions to ANPR cameras as “these could be withdrawn”.

Oxford Mail: City councillor Andrew Gant.

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Cowley Road business owners have told the Oxford Mail in the past that the county council had “disrespected” and “abandoned” them by not listening to their concerns before the LTNs were introduced.

The LTNs 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.

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.

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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.

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