Conservative councillors were left fuming as their ambitions to remove the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in Oxford were unsuccessful.

Tory Liam Walker proposed a motion to remove the LTNs in East Oxford and Cowley at an Oxfordshire County Council meeting yesterday (Tuesday, October 7).

But the motion was amended by Labour councillors so that it no longer directly called for the removal of the scheme.

READ MORE: Analysis of Liam Manning’s time in charge of Oxford United

Conservative group leader Eddie Reeves said that Labour were “dupes”.

He said: “This debate has been utterly, utterly predictable… there are those amendments that seek to wreck and those that seek to add.

Oxford Mail: Councillor Eddie Reeves, leader of the Conservative group Councillor Eddie Reeves, leader of the Conservative group “This amended motion is now entirely without meaning. I literally don’t know what it is asking the executive to do.

“Labour is all over the place on this. They are facing both ways.”

Mr Walker had called for Labour councillors to “come off the fence” and back his motion to remove the scheme.

Labour has traditionally supported the LTNs, but the party quit the ruling council coalition of Liberal Democrats and Greens in September.

However, before Mr Walker’s motion could be voted on, Labour councillor Duncan Enright proposed that it was amended.

The amendment asked the council to look at removing the congestion around the LTNs, rather than getting rid of the actual scheme itself.

This amended motion, substantially changed from Mr Walker’s original version, was then voted through.

Mr Walker said: “This amendment is a deliberate ploy by Labour to make the position on LTNs clear.

"This is Labour trying to shirk their responsibly of standing up for the working class in this city.”

Highways chief and Lib Dem Andrew Gant, who spearheaded the East Oxford LTN scheme, said the amended motion “supports what we are already doing.”

He said he “looked forward” to discussing with Labour councillors what additional measures should be introduced to mitigate traffic issues.

But Labour leader Liz Brighouse told him that it was not “business as usual” and said the amended motion would look hard at reducing congestion.

She said: “That actually might mean taking out some of the LTNs. We haven’t actually looked at whether we need all the LTNs we have in the city.

“Or whether taking some of them out might alleviate some of the problems we have.”

Labour councillor Duncan Enright added: “This is a change in emphasis. We want to see congestion tackled across the city.

“I think we should consider blue badge holders and make changes accordingly. We’re not reducing cars for the sake of it. We’re removing congestion.”