Oxfordshire proposes traffic filters for Oxford

31/08/2022
Chris Ames

Oxfordshire County Council is to launch a consultation on proposals to introduce six trial traffic filters in Oxford.

The scheme is backed by Oxford City council, which said traffic filters are designed to reduce traffic, make bus journeys faster and make walking and cycling safer.

Under the scheme, which will be enforced during operating hours using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, private cars will not be allowed through the traffic filters without a permit.

All other vehicles including buses, coaches, taxis, vans, mopeds and HGVs will be allowed at all times. Permits will be available for blue badge holders, health workers and care workers.

Residents in Oxford and some areas just outside the city will be able to apply for a permit to drive through the traffic filters for up to 100 days per year.

Cllr Louise Upton, the city council’s cabinet member for health and transport, said: ‘We are not saying that people need to give up cars completely, and permits will be available to local residents and businesses.

‘We want to achieve a better transport mix which improves our air quality, encourages active travel, and ensures all those that do not have access to a car have a better bus service.’

Cllr Duncan Enright, the county council’s cabinet member for travel and development strategy, said: ‘Traffic filters are an important part of the central Oxfordshire travel plan, which aims to reduce the need to travel in private cars and make walking, cycling and public transport the natural first choice.

‘Currently, traffic congestion is delaying bus journeys. Cycling is becoming less attractive due to traffic levels. People traveling by taxis get stuck in jams – a costly situation for both passengers and taxi firms.’

The consultation will run for four weeks until from Monday (5 Sept). If approved by the county council’s cabinet, the trial will start as an experimental traffic regulation order in summer 2023 for a minimum of six months.

Four traffic filters will be located on St Cross Road, Thames Street, St Clements and Hythe Bridge Street and will operate seven days a week from 7am to 7pm. The remaining filters will be located on Marston Ferry Road and Hollow Way and will not operate on Sundays.

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