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A call to pause LTNs and Quickways

Updated: May 19, 2022

The recent city elections were the most divisive in years. Nine independents stood across East Oxford, the area most affected by road barriers, and threatened by ‘bus gates’ and Quickways. While only one Independent was elected, we came second in seven of the nine seats contested and together won 30% of the vote in seats where an independent stood, more than any party other than Labour. This is a highly significant result as most of us were starting from scratch with limited resources. Despite their advantages, the share of the vote taken by incumbent parties fell. It is clear that Independents struck a chord with the electorate in putting forward policies to reduce congestion and pollution without damaging essential movement through the city.

One reason why LTN and traffic policies have become so divisive is that the both City and County Councils listened extensively and privately to lobbyists from Oxfordshire Liveable Streets and Cyclox without engaging those on the other side of the argument who also want greater safety on the roads and reductions in pollution. We have appealed to the ruling Labour group on the City Council to recognise this, with limited response so far.

We are calling for a pause to the implementation of the current LTNs and Quickways and a wider consultation to establish a policy that can work for all in the community.

Pausing schemes while consultations are undertaken would be a way to bring the community back together, given the strength of the views and the feelings that many people have of being disregarded. Labour canvassers were assuring people on the doorstep that they understood their concerns about the LTNs, bus gates and other changes and would “sort it out”. The Greens avoided mentioning LTNs even once in their election material. There is no mandate for these changes amongst the people who live here and those most affected by barriers.

We all want greater safety on the roads. However, the county adopts a slogan “Vision Zero” (zero fatalities for cyclists) while at the same time creating “Quickways,” encouraging cyclists to travel “quickly” on the very same roads where the LTNs will channel vastly increased motor traffic. It is an absurd and dangerous policy.

The Independents will monitor and highlight the disruption and damage these changes do to lives. If our councils continue not to listen, our movement can only grow.


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Notes from Your Doorstep 20/2/2022
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