An allegation of "total hypocrisy" has followed the revelation that a party is "contradicting" its previous stance on traffic calming measures.

Liberal Democrat flyers were circulated in the Headington Ward in Oxford during December last year where residents were asked whether they would be in favour of "tackling cut-throughs if local residents could still drive any direction, but non-residents weren't allowed".

The flyer is assumed to refer to a residents' exemption from automatic number plate recognition 'ANPR' cameras.

Oxford Mail: Liberal Democrat Headington questionnaire.Liberal Democrat Headington questionnaire. (Image: Contribution.)

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ANPR cameras differ to LTN bollards as they allow for the passage of exempt vehicles through restricted roads.

The official Liberal Democrat county council position on ANPR cameras is that residents should not be exempt from the restrictions.

Littlemore ward city councillor, Sandy Douglas, said: "We've learned that Lib Dem councillors in Headington are asking residents whether they would support something like an LTN - but with exemptions for residents.

Oxford Mail: Councillor Sandy Douglas.Councillor Sandy Douglas. (Image: Oxford City Council.)

"We think this is total hypocrisy - we'd proposed that local residents should be allowed to use Littlemore Road back in April and were told by the County Council it'd be too complicated.

"One rule for Lib Dem wards and another for Littlemore and Cowley is wrong. 

"We're totally fed up with the Lib Dem/Green County Council's refusal to listen to residents.

"We think the basic idea of using technology to make the LTNs smarter is a good one.

"The problem is the hypocrisy and unfairness."

Labour county councillor Trish Elphinstone, of the Rose Hill and Littlemore ward, added: "Littlemore is in a worse position than Headington because of its geographic isolation, being close to the ring road and lack of connected buses.

Oxford Mail: Councillor Trish Elphinstone.Councillor Trish Elphinstone. (Image: Oxfordshire County Council.)

"It is simply unfair that this can be considered for Headington and not allowed for Littlemore.

"After all - what is good for the goose is also good for the gander."

City councillor Dr Christopher Smowton, of the Headington Ward, has responded to the "total hypocrisy" allegation.

The Liberal Democrat said: "This is nonsense.

Oxford Mail: Councillor Dr Christopher Smowton.Councillor Dr Christopher Smowton. (Image: Oxford City Council.)

"Both the Littlemore and Headington councillors are advocating the solutions they think will work best for their respective areas.

"Neither of our ideas have been approved by the county.

"Labour councillors also seem to be pulling every which way on this, with some demanding stronger measures while others try to shift the blame for schemes they voted for."

A decision was made by the county council in June 2023 to approve proposals to remove LTN bollards on three roads in Cowley and enforce the traffic restrictions using ANPR cameras instead.

Oxford Mail: ANPR cameras.ANPR cameras.

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman said: "While there are no immediate plans for more LTNs in Oxford or Oxfordshire, the county council is always open to discussing the needs of local communities. 

"All projects are kept continually under review, and elected members can express their views and ask for those of residents.

“ANPR cameras will be installed at six locations in Cowley and east Oxford.

"There are no current plans to introduce exemptions for residents."