Oxford traffic filters

Starting November 2024, we are trying a new way to reduce traffic congestion in and around Oxford.
Warning

Network Rail has announced a delay to reopening Botley Road and we are assessing the impact on traffic filters. 

Traffic levels and congestion in and around Oxford are high. We have to do something about this. Our aim is to reduce congestion by trialling camera-operated traffic filters on six roads in the city to help lower the number of private car journeys.

Traffic filters are part of the central Oxfordshire travel plan and Oxfordshire’s local transport and connectivity plan. They are designed to work together with other measures to:

  • reduce traffic
  • make bus journeys faster
  • allow for new and improved bus routes
  • make walking and cycling safer
  • reduce local air pollution
  • improve the health and wellbeing of our communities

What are traffic filters?

A traffic filter limits through-traffic along a small section of a road when travelling by certain modes of transport. Oxford traffic filters will be camera-enforced points on six roads in Oxford and will only apply to private cars.  

There will be no physical barriers, and everywhere in Oxford will be accessible. If you drive a private car, you may need to take a different route or change how you travel if you don't have a permit to drive through the filter.

Locations

The traffic filters will be placed on the following roads:

  • St Cross Road, central Oxford
  • Thames Street, central Oxford
  • Hythe Bridge Street, central Oxford
  • St Clement’s Street, east Oxford
  • Marston Ferry Road, Marston
  • Hollow Way, Cowley 

View a detailed map of traffic filter locations.

The restrictions will only operate during set days and hours.

Improving bus journeys

  • Bus services in Oxford will benefit from improved reliability, reducing journey times. 
  • As part of our Bus Service Improvement Plan, we are working with bus companies to improve and deliver better bus services throughout Oxfordshire.
  • New services will be introduced for the ‘Eastern arc’ of the city, from Summertown, Marston, Headington and Cowley to John Radcliffe Hospital.
  • We are working with bus companies to deliver 159 new electric buses.

Monitoring

Throughout the trial, we will monitor the traffic filters and conduct a consultation to ask for your feedback. The full details are in our monitoring and assessment plan (pdf format, 455 KB).

Monitoring will identify if any changes to the scheme design or any further supporting measures are needed.

Monitoring, evaluation, and consultation results will inform whether and how to continue with the traffic filters

Your feedback

We will be running a consultation during the traffic filters trial.

Changes from our 2022 consultation

From previous feedback, we have made some changes:

  • Hollow Way and Marston Ferry Road will run at peak times only, from 7am to 9am and 3pm to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.
  • The Oxford permit area will include households in the Shotover Hill area and adjacent areas to Barton.
  • Cars in a qualifying car club open to at least 100 people are exempt.
  • Unpaid non-professional carers now include a wider range of people with informal caring responsibilities.
  • Oxfordshire residents living outside the Oxford permit area can apply for 25 day passes each year.

Reports