THE city's first Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) could cause an increase in congestion and pollution, residents fear.

Oxfordshire County Council is preparing to introduce the Cowley LTN, which would use 'filters' like bollards or plant pots in the road to stop traffic using certain areas as a shortcut.

It includes four temporary 'filters' in Temple Cowley – in Salegate Lane, Crescent Road, Temple Road and Junction Road.

Jolene Sims has lived in the latter street since 1987 and is worried the measures could cause chaos when St Christophers School, in Temple Road, reopens in September.

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She said: “They’re bulldozing through with the plans and going to create absolute mayhem.

"It’s thoughtless and not a very practical solution.

“When I walk to work, Temple Road is already full of parents’ cars on double yellow lines.

“It will be even more so if they block the top of Temple Road.”

The LTN also covers Florence Park and Church Cowley, but the county council has not yet confirmed when work will start.

Ms Sims also believes the new filters will push through traffic onto the already congested Hollow Way and Cowley Road, increasing pollution.

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This is a view shared by Judith Harley, planning representative for the Old Temple Cowley Residents’ Association.

While revealing residents in Crescent Road appear to support the plans, she felt two filters would suffice.

Ms Harley said: “We’ve got lots of schools and businesses and nobody was consulted.

“We feel it doesn’t have to be such a drastic scheme to bypass the rat-run. It’s better to allow internal free-flowing movement for residents.”

The quick turnaround means temporary closures will initially be put in place, with residents consulted over the next year.


Independent Oxford City councillor for Cowley Marsh, Sajjad Malik, was only alerted to the scheme by a resident, but will reserve judgement until the temporary changes have been implemented.

He said: “Ideally they would consult before it started, but no-one knew Covid was coming.

“Something needs to be done in Temple Cowley to curb traffic.”

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An air quality filter was installed in Oxford Road yesterday to monitor pollution levels before and after the LTN.

The changes will be introduced under temporary or experimental traffic regulation orders, which must be removed, altered or confirmed within 18 months.

Last month, councillors unanimously agreed a motion proposed by John Sanders, county councillor for Cowley, to support LTNs and 'aim to introduce them when and where feasible'.

Oxfordshire County Council spokesperson Jonathan Sayers said: "There will be side roads at the points of closure where the few visiting vehicles can turn.

"In general there will be little traffic that needs to do this.

“The total addition of displaced traffic to the main road is around 10 per cent.

“This will be in the context of a general reduction in traffic as people change behaviour and mode, as well as the impacts of the city wide bus gate closures.”

Mr Sayers said the council was aware of proposals with 'different advantages', adding: "The council proposal creates the opportunity for a village centre, which is supported by many residents."