The Cowley Low Traffic Neigbourhood (LTN) Proposal

By David Henwood

The County council is considering how it will use emergency funding from the Department of Transport (DfT) to encourage cycling and walking in Cowley.

The DfT is encouraging the use of ‘modal filters’ to close residential roads to through car-traffic. Modal filters could create ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ in Temple Cowley, Church Cowley and Florence Park.

This proposal introduces three Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to Cowley. It is a separate (although complementary) Connecting Oxford, which covers the whole of the city of Oxford.

The ‘blue’ line on the map represents a proposed revision to the No. 16 bus route, and a proposed bus gate on Bartholomew Road. A bus gate determines the egress/ingress to the area. It would be monitored by an ANPR camera – only bus, emergency vehicles, taxis and private-hire vehicles (like Royal and 001) go through. All others are subject to a fine during a defined period. If someone lives east of the bus gate their ingress/egress is via Barns Rd. 

  • The proposal is being introduced now because the County Council has access to emergency funding due to COVID-19 to support social distancing, cycling and walking. 
  • In principle, a Low Traffic Neighbourhood would have ALL through routes cut off to private cars. This would be done with carefully located bus gates and ‘modal filters’ (bollards, planters). All houses, shops, businesses, schools etc would remain accessible to cars however there would most likely only be one way in and out of Church Cowley for most people. (e.g. for those on The Grates the way in and out might be via Crowell Road). Suggestions for the location of filters and bus gates can be discussed on the Zoom call so that Councillors can hear residents’ views.
  • An LTN wouldn’t prevent parents from driving children to school, although hopefully it would create safer walking and cycling routes to the school for many. Separate ‘School Streets’ schemes have also been proposed across Oxford which could make a big difference to the school. 
  1. Register for a Zoom call about your neighbourhood. Oxfordshire Liveable Streets is hosting a series of Zoom calls for Cowley residents to find out more about Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, discuss the potential benefits and see how a scheme could be implemented in their area. We’re expecting our County and City Councillors to join the meetings along with officers from the County Council. The calls will notionally focus on one of the three areas in Cowley however you are welcome to attend any or all of the calls. 

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