What are low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs)?
An LTN is an area where most 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 east Oxford
The three low-traffic neighbourhoods in east Oxford are in the Divinity Road, St Clement's, and St Mary's areas. Please see the plans below.
The scheme was implemented initially through an experimental traffic regulation order (ETRO) in May 2022 and trialled for 18 months.
Cabinet decision - October 2023
Our cabinet decided at a meeting on 17 October that the east Oxford LTNs would remain in place after their trial ended with some changes.
Cabinet members considered a wide range of information when making their decision, including reports from public consultations, monitoring and evaluation reports which investigated traffic levels, transport habits and air quality, and submissions from speakers at the meeting. They also considered how the LTNs aligned with transport and overall council policy.
As part of the decision that the east Oxford LTNs will remain in place, automatic number plate recognition cameras will replace physical bollards and planters installed in three locations:
- Divinity Road
- Magdalen Road
- James Street
Private motor vehicles are not permitted to drive through these points and will receive a penalty charge notice if they do. Exemptions apply for a small number of specific vehicles – allowing them to drive through these ANPR points without being fined:
- emergency services
- waste and postal vehicles
- taxi and private hire vehicles.
Taxis and private hire vehicles are considered part of the public transport network in Oxfordshire, alongside buses, scheduled coaches, and rail.
ANPR could allow more network flexibility and could enable traffic diversions during unexpected or emergency incidents. The cameras are triggered by vehicles passing through restricted areas and record only the license plate details of those vehicles.
The use of ANPR and/or exemptions will be reviewed prior to and during the trial of the traffic filters expected to be implemented in autumn 2024. Find out more about the traffic filters on our traffic filters page.
Several other changes to the LTNs have also been approved:
- The introduction of bollards and/or planters at the junction of Jeune Street and St. Clement’s, and making Jeune Street two-way south of the restriction.
- Relocation of the residential parking bay located to the south of the business entrance to outside number 47 Marston Street.
- Moving the filter location on Bullingdon Road to the southwest to a point to the east of the junction with Hurst Street.
Further details with regards to timescales of implementing these changes will be published shortly.
Scheme background and consultations
Engagement and consultation - March to June 2021
The east Oxford LTNs were consulted on between March and June 2021, through a series of workshops, engagement activities and a public consultation in June 2021.
The outcome of the engagement activities and public consultation was reported for Cabinet Member decision on 29 July 2021 at which time the decision was to undertake further engagement to address specific issues that had been identified. The report can be found in item 4/21.
This resulted in some changes to the proposals which included:
- Reducing the length of the two-way section in Howard Street, provide a contraflow cycle lane;
- Relocating filters on Howard Street and Barnet Street
- Redesigning of the filter on Magdalen Road
The outcome of the additional engagement was reported to a Cabinet Member for Decision meeting on 16 December 2021, and it was approved by Councillor Liz Leffman, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council to implement the proposals under an experimental traffic regulation order (ETRO). The report can be found here in item 25/21.
Six-month Experimental Traffic Regulation Order consultation – May to November 2022
We then ran a public consultation from 20 May to 30 November 2022, covering the first six months of the trial. We received 3,938 survey responses and 269 emails and letters.
- the LTNs had led to improved access and safety for pedestrians and cyclists
- reductions in noise and pollution from traffic
- and a stronger community feeling and being more likely to use local shops
- but they had also caused concern about access to essential locations like schools, work, and hospitals, and critical access for emergency vehicles
- increased traffic and pollution displaced to different areas of Oxford
- and increased travel times and fuel costs when making car journeys.
An independant report of the results can be read on our cabinet paper web page (see Annex 3).
Six week Traffic Regulation Order consultation and proposed improvements – June to July 2023
Since the trial began in May 2022, frequent vandalism prevented a thorough impact assessment, because bollards were often missing. The first year of the trial also yielded substantial feedback on the impact of the LTNs and suggestions for improvements.
As a result, we opened another short consultation on 5 June 2023 to ask for people’s views on proposed changes to these LTNs and for feedback on their impact since new bollards were introduced in March 2023.
Following the decision to continue with these LTNs, the changes will now be introduced.
This six-week consultation closed on 20 July, but all the documents can still be viewed
An independent report of the results can be read on our additional cabinet paper documents web page (see annex 5).
Maps and plans
Overview plans of the east Oxford LTN areas and locations of the filters are below along with details of a typical layout:
- Divinity Road area LTN (pdf format, 1.6Mb)
- St Clements area LTN (pdf format, 1.3Mb)
- St Marys area LTN (pdf format, 3.5Mb)
- Barnet Street (pdf format, 510Kb)
- Bullingdon Road (pdf format, 519Kb)
- Circus Street (pdf format, 528Kb)
- Howard Street (pdf format,549 Kb)
- James Street (pdf format, 531Kb)
- Leopold Street (pdf format, 429Kb)
- Magdalen Road (pdf format,458 Kb)
- Marston Street (pdf format, 431Kb)
- Stockmore Street (pdf format, 539Kb)
- Temple Street (pdf format, 431Kb)
- Typical layout (pdf format 2Mb)
The works implemented consist of planters, parking restrictions, and bollards as detailed in the ‘Typical layout’ document; supported by advanced signage at the LTN areas.
Whilst closures are in place all routes will be accessible via different routes. This plan (pdf format, 1.1Mb) shows filter locations and has some examples for accessing amenities around the filters
There is more information on our East Oxford low-traffic neighbourhoods – air quality, traffic sensors and data analysis page.