A leading city councillor has criticised the LTNs in east Oxford after a car journey of almost three miles took her 45 minutes.

The LTNs (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 Road in East Oxford.

The aim of the LTNs, which use bollards to prevent vehicles from using certain routes, is to reduce traffic and to make neighbourhoods quieter.

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The county council said a decision on making the East Oxford LTNs permanent was scheduled for a meeting on October 17.

This follows a lengthy period of consultation earlier this year.

Oxford Mail: An LTN in east OxfordIn a public social media post earlier this week Ms Smith said: "I needed to take a teenager and his large desktop PC to the excellent Chatterbox Repairs on Cowley Road this afternoon.

"It took 90 minutes to drive there and back from Marston. Madness.

"Some routes through the conglomeration of LTNs are needed to allow the traffic to move."

The cabinet member for housing referenced Andrew Gant, cabinet member for highway management at the county council, at the end of her post. 

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Ms Smith's post prompted lots of responses - not all of them entirely sympathetic.

One response from Jon Townsend said: "90 minutes isn't that bad to get anywhere in Oxford these days." 

And Nick Gibb said: "Which route did you take Linda? 

Oxford Mail: "It would be utter madness to try to drive across The Plain and up Cowley and Iffley Road on a rainy day in the first full week of all schools resuming."

In an email to the Oxford Mail, Ms Smith added: "The replies to my tweet from people all around the world with extreme ideological positions on LTNs illustrate the difficulty of trying to have a reasonable conversation about how we manage our highways here in Oxford.

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"I hope councillor Gant and the county council cabinet listen to local people, local businesses and local ward councillors when deciding on the future of the LTNs."

Oxford Mail: An LTN in East OxfordIt's not the first time Ms Smith has appeared critical of LTNs.

She said in June: "The LTNs have created winners and losers, as residents on the closed roads benefit from cleaner air, while residents on boundary roads, bus passengers and everyone else trying to get around the city has to deal with traffic being concentrated onto fewer routes.”

A county council spokeswoman said: "The decision on whether to continue with East Oxford LTNs in planned to go the cabinet meeting on October 17."

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

You can also read his weekly Traffic and Transport newsletter.