An Oxford school has claimed that staff have resigned after only a few weeks because of the traffic caused by Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs).

Magdalen College School said the commuting time for staff had increased by up to 30 minutes since the LTNs were introduced in East Oxford in May 2022.

In a letter to Oxfordshire County Council, the public school, which is near The Plain roundabout, said this had affected its ability to recruit and retain staff.

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“We have already seen people refuse job offers, and others leave only a few weeks after starting owing to the challenge of getting to the school site,” it said in response to a consultation in July

Oxford Mail: Magdalen College School in Oxford. Picture: Google Maps

The council’s cabinet will decide whether to make the LTNs in Divinity Road, St Clement’s, and St Mary’s permanent at a meeting today (Tuesday, October 17).

A council spokesperson said: “The cabinet will consider a significant body of evidence (at today’s meeting), including feedback from stakeholders.”

Those in favour of the LTNs have always claimed they reduce through traffic and air pollution and make roads safer for non-car users.

But last month, a report by the Oxfordshire Education Commission said LTNs and other transport issues were “fuelling recruitment and retention issues” in Oxfordshire schools.

Magdalen College School urged the council not to continue with the controversial traffic calming measures.

“(The school) has a number of staff who rely on driving into school owing to the lack of quick public transport from where they live,” the school said.

“Many staff have seen their commuting time increase by 20-30 minutes owing to the additional congestion on the main roads.

“Teaching staff start work at 8am or earlier, and therefore additional commuting time is extremely unwelcome, and it has had a detrimental impact on their welfare.

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Oxford Mail:

“Parking at the park and ride car parks does not solve the problem as the buses take as long to get to the school as if the staff had remained in their cars.”

The school, which is attended by boys aged seven to 18 and girls in sixth form, said the LTNs had also affected bus journeys for pupils.

It said buses took under eight minutes to travel from Headington School to Magdalen College School before LTNs, but a journey now takes up to 55 minutes.

This has led the school to re-route buses to avoid Headington Hill.

The school said it was “reluctant to take pupils out of school by minibus or coach in the afternoon as they cannot get back into school on time at the end of the day.”

It added that pupils and staff were concerned about cycling to school with increased traffic near the school.