The phrase "15-minute-city" has been dropped from a key city planning document due to "fear of backlash".

Oxford City Council has confirmed the words no longer feature in its Local Plan, which guides future development proposals.

Some have questioned why the council has stopped using the term when "they are technically splitting Oxford into 15-minute-cities" anyway.

READ MORE: Oxford flat reclaimed after 14 animals rescued from inside

Independent Temple Cowley ward councillor Saj Malik said: "I have a cynical view.

"They fear some backlash from residents so they've stopped using this.

Oxford Mail: Saj Malik.Saj Malik. (Image: Oxford City Council.)

"When you look at the dimension of the six bus filters it is clear the city has been split.

"I think what is seriously lacking between the public and council is trust – they say one thing and do another.

"They can remove the word from the local plan but people are wise enough and intelligent enough to see what is happening."

Oxford City Council was approached for an explanation on why the phrase had been removed but did not respond.

A spokesman for the city council emphasised the bus filters project is a county council scheme.

Green councillor Emily Kerr, of the St Mary's ward said she thinks the concept of 15-minute-cities is a "really powerful one".

She added: "It gives people facilities in their area they can walk to.

"I'm very keen for Magdalen Road to be designated as a local centre and we have campaigned as a Green party to keep it this way.

"I really want local centres to be protected for local people.

Oxford Mail: Emily Kerr.Emily Kerr. (Image: Oxford City Council.)

"I think they are quite important.

"I feel quite strongly about it."

Ms Kerr added she didn't understand how local centres had been designated if the '15-minute-city' phrasing had been removed.

"I can't really speculate.

"If they've got new criteria that might help with Magdalen Road.

"I think absolutely 15-minute-cities have been confused in the public eye."

Duncan Enright, Oxfordshire County Council's previous cabinet member for travel and development strategy, went on record in 2022 saying the filters that stopped most motorists driving through Oxford city centre would divide the city into six "15 minute" neighbourhoods.

Oxford Mail: Protesters criticise the '15-minute-city' concept.Protesters criticise the '15-minute-city' concept. (Image: Oxford Mail)

Mr Enright told the Sunday Times: "It is about making sure you have the community centre which has all of those essential needs, the bottle of milk, pharmacy, GP, schools which you need to have a 15-minute neighbourhood."

A talk from the "mastermind" behind the 15-minute-city planning concept, Carlos Moreno, was given on February 29 at Oxford University.

He spoke about his "passion" to "share insights and engage in meaningful discussions".

Prof Moreno has suggested in previous interviews that he has received "violent death threats" for his "misinterpreted" concept.

A joint statement from Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council in 2023 said: "Residents will still be able to drive to every part of the city at any time – but in the future, during certain times of the day, you may need to take a different route if you want to travel by car.

"The traffic filters work in exactly the same way as the existing traffic cameras in High Street, and are widely used in cities across the UK to manage congestion and support public transport.

"The reason we have proposed these changes is because – as everyone who lives and visits Oxford knows – the city has had awful congestion for decades.

"This is damaging both our economy and our environment, and is making the bus network unviable."