Oxford LTNs: Conservative motion to remove LTNs fails

A Conservative councillor's motion to remove low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) has been defeated.

Liam Walker called for Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet to "urgently consider" getting rid of the LTNs in Cowley, Oxford.

But an amendment by Labour's Duncan Enright called for the authority to "remove the congestion" around the LTNs, instead of the LTNs themselves.

The amendment was voted through at the full council meeting.

LTNs prevent traffic taking shortcuts through residential areas and are intended to make streets safer for walking and cycling.

They have prompted protests, with bollards run over, burned and stolen.

Mr Walker asked councillors "to take back control of this complete and utter LTN mess" and "right the wrongs" of a "failed" experiment.

"Start standing up for the local businesses, the local bus companies, and for the residents who have been ignored by the coalition cabinet," he added.

'Genuinely sad'

But Mr Enright said: "It's congestion we should eliminate and the LTNs may need to change significantly... but to focus on one particular measure in isolation like LTNs is to misunderstand the whole problem altogether."

Liberal Democrat Andrew Gant, cabinet member for highway management, said he was "genuinely sad" the Tory party had "nothing to offer", as a solution.

He added: "If we've managed to do something that's upset Rishi Sunak, Piers Corbyn, Councillor Walker, Laurence Fox and King Arthur Pendragon, then we're obviously doing something right."

Earlier in the meeting, local residents had their say on the ongoing debate.

Anne Stares said there was "no point" in "appealing to the Lib Dem/Green dictators… trying to gaslight an entire city".

She said the "evil" LTNs had caused "misery and hardship".

"Will you save our lives or will you keep us on this LTN-filled road to hell?" she asked.

Abby White, who has limited sight, said: "Navigating our streets presents daily challenges, but LTNs have significantly improved my experience, and I do feel very invested in their future.

"Road safety is a matter of life and death."

The LTNs on Divinity Road, St. Clement's, and St. Mary's were made permanent last month.

LTNs on Littlemore Road, Littlehay Road, and Crescent Road were made permanent following an 18-month trial last year.

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