This is an Oxford Times editorial from our politics reporter Ed Halford.

Traders in Oxford are fed up.

As they notice dependable regulars slip out through the door and never come back, a storm on the horizon is brewing.

The LTNs are already causing carnage on the roads according to business owners, as once available routes no longer exist.

Oxford Mail: Panda House in OxfordPanda House in Oxford (Image: Ed Halford)

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A steady logjam of traffic can now be expected along the A34 and the Eastern Bypass, with motorists casually idling and moving closer to their destination slowly but surely.

This is the new reality of Oxford’s traffic situation.

Yes, you can choose not to hop on a bicycle.

However, if you need a car to get to work, to take the children to school, to care for relatives, or for an appointment at the doctors, then prepare yourself for a lengthy wait.

When you speak to business owners about their thoughts on the forthcoming traffic filter / bus gates, a lot of them sigh and accuse the media of being complicit in promoting them.

Many fear that if regular customers get back home from a long day’s work and then have a choice between the prospect of ordering takeaway on an app or waiting ages for a queue to die down on the A34 then they will choose the former.

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However, what business owners fear the most, is talking to journalists about the problems which LTNs and traffic filters cause, as they know they will be greeted by a tsunami of Twitter trolls and intolerant eco-warriors who have nothing better to do than to scroll the internet and promote hate.

When business owners prefer not to have a photo taken, one can only nod one’s head and politely tell them one understands.

Initial nasty jibes about a takeaway restaurant’s food are then followed by the vicious spamming of Twitter inboxes.

Heaven help anyone who dares criticise LTNs, traffic filters or 15-minute neighbourhoods.

Armed with weak arguments, the zealots choose insult and vitriol.

Is it any wonder beleaguered traders stay quiet.

It is never very dignifying for businesses to admit they are experiencing issues with attracting customers so they should be praised when they put their head above the parapet to speak out.

Unfortunately, the sticky traffic mess plaguing Oxford motorists and bus passengers is a consequence of campaigners on both sides looking to push their own agendas without listening to the very people whose livelihoods depend on moving through the city freely.

Debates concerning traffic will always be contentious, but it is never too late for everyone to do more listening and less trolling on social media.

Sadly, for Tak Lau, the owner of Panda House, by the time a councillor knocks on his takeaway restaurant and asks about the likely impact of the impending bus gates, it will be too late.

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The chef has worked in the city for 43 years, but he’s chucked in the towel finally because of the impact of LTNs and due to his fears about traffic getting worse.

Politics can only be enriched by listening to those with differing viewpoints.

Sadly traders and householders feel ignored.

It’s time we all started listening.