Public Letter regarding Temple Cowley Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) – March 2021

FAO: Councillor Yvonne Constance
Cabinet Member for the Environment
Oxfordshire County Council

12 March 2021

Dear Cllr Constance,

RE: Low Traffic Neighbourhoods for Church Cowley, Florence Park, and Temple Cowley

As the prospective Conservative candidate for the Rose Hill and Littlemore division in this year’s elections for the county council, I wish to communicate the strong opposition of Littlemore’s residents to this recently imposed scheme, and to urge the council to immediately reverse the proposed six month trial.

As a Littlemore resident myself, my family are among those adversely impacted by the trial scheme, and I also speak for a significant number of very displeased residents. In the week that the scheme has been in force, the already congested roads of Oxford Road and Newman Road have become intolerable for local residents. We are already seeing reckless motorists driving unto pavements to get around the obstacles, and the scheme is also forcing residents to take longer journeys, having a wholly counterproductive impact on our aspiration to improve Oxford’s air quality.

One resident I spoke to put the position admirably well: they support active travel, but are furious at the idea that they are being bullied out of using their car. Many residents, especially those with young families, or with older or vulnerable members in their household, use their cars from necessity not choice. The roads blocked by the LTN are not ‘rat runs’ but crucial local link roads for our community to the hub of east Oxford at Cowley centre.

Littlemore is already disadvantaged and disconnected from the rest of Oxford through irregular and infrequent public transport links. Literally blocking the roads that connect Littlemore to the rest of Oxford are reinforcing this harmful perception. We applaud the Council’s aspirations for greater active travel, and to care for our environment, but must firmly protest that this specific measure has a disproportionate and unjust impact upon our community.

I would be grateful to have the opportunity to present evidence I am gathering from local residents, and to discuss alternatives to the pilot scheme. I know from positive discussions with council leader Cllr Hudspeth that the Conservative-led administration is always ready to acknowledge and respond to residents’ concerns, and deliver policy that is evidence-led. I hope I can demonstrate that this well-intentioned policy is not best for Littlemore or for Oxford, and trust that there are better ways that we can increase active travel in the city.

With warmest regards,

Daniel Stafford

Conservative Candidate for Rose Hill and Littlemore Division

Cllr Gill Sanders
Cllr John Tanner
Cllr Tiago Corais
Anneliese Dodds MP