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Cowley low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs)

What are low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs)?

An LTN is an area where motorised traffic is prevented from taking shortcuts through a residential area. This creates quieter and safer streets where residents may feel more comfortable when making local journeys by cycling, wheeling or on foot.

All roads remain accessible, but drivers may have to find alternative routes instead of cutting through some streets.

LTN locations in Cowley

Cowley LTNs are in Temple Cowley, Church Cowley, and Florence Park areas. You can see the details in the following plans:

Scheme background - consultation

In November 2020, we sent out letters to over 4,000 residents in the Cowley area inviting them to fill in an online survey asking their opinion of the proposals for low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in three areas including Temple Cowley, Church Cowley, and Florence Park.

The consultation closed on 18 December 2020 with over 1,000 residents responding to the survey. Residents in all three areas expressed majority support for their local LTN proposal. On 21 January 2021 implementation of the proposals were approved by the Cabinet member for the environment.

ANPR consultation – 6 March to 17 April 2023

The potential to replace some hard closures (bollards) with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, is a part of the commitments made alongside the Cabinet decision for the Cowley LTNs to remain in place. ANPR cameras are triggered by vehicles passing through restricted areas and record only the license plate details of those vehicles.

It is proposed to install cameras at the following priority closure points within the Cowley LTN areas (Church Cowley, Temple Cowley and Florence Park) to prevent through traffic on residential streets and make walking, wheeling and cycling safer:

  • Littlemore Road in Church Cowley
  • Littlehay Road in Florence Park
  • Crescent Road in Temple Cowley

These sites were selected for consultation following stakeholder engagement including extensive liaison with the emergency services, internal reviews and site visits. Consideration was given to the impact on the scheme objectives of the LTNs including the aim to reduce through traffic.

The use of ANPR at these locations instead of bollards will allow flexibility for changes to bus services, and allow some traffic in emergency situations.

You can share your views on this proposal through our survey which is open from 6 March 2023 to 17 April 2023. The survey can be filled in online or by requesting a paper copy.

Go to survey

Please note that this is a formal process concerned only with the ANPR proposal, and has no influence on the presence or location of the actual LTNs.

A formal decision on whether or not to install ANPR cameras within the Cowley LTN areas is due to be made by the Cabinet Member for Highways Management at a meeting later in 2023. Officers will make recommendations based on a range of factors, including feedback received and monitoring data.

Scheme background - implementation

The LTNs were implemented via a legal process called an experimental traffic regulation order (ETRO). ETROs are used when it is difficult to assess the impacts of a scheme beforehand, but the cost of implementation is relatively low.

In an ETRO, the council introduces the scheme as an experiment first and there is then a six-month period when the public can see for themselves the impact of the scheme in their neighbourhood and the council can monitor factors such as traffic flows, air quality, changes in people’s perception, and shifts in their mode of travel.

At the end of the six-month period, the council assesses the impacts, including any letters of support or objections, and decides whether to confirm, cancel or extend the ETRO for up to 12 months longer to allow further consultation and monitoring.

Proposals for the ETRO in Cowley were approved by the county council’s cabinet on 21 January 2021. See the meeting papers and minutes here.

Implementation of the LTN measures in Cowley began in February 2021. Church Cowley LTN went live on 1 March 2021, followed by Florence Park on 8 March 2021 and Temple Cowley on 15 March 2021. Further works and were completed on 21 May 2021. 

The ETRO consultation closed on 19 November 2021 and the outcome of that, and the monitoring exercise was reported to Full Cabinet for a decision on 19 July 2022. At the cabinet meeting, the decision was made that the Cowley LTNs would remain in place.

Cabinet also committed to undertake additional community and stakeholder engagement to further refine the scheme, with any changes to be implemented by spring 2023. The council will also continue to monitor all aspects of the measures and bring forward proposals for changes through the consultation process, including the potential to replace some hard closures with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.