Update: Further correspondence with county council on LTNs

Direct Message from Daniel:

Hello all. Below I reproduce my latest email to Cllr Yvonne Constance, the County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for overseeing the Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTNs). As per my last video, while disappointed that clear and vocal opposition from Littlemore’s residents is not deemed satisfactory evidence to end the pilot scheme, I am encouraged that we have the opportunity to make our case.

As you will read in the email, I have set out some questions which I believe are necessary to answer. It has become clear that there is an active and vocal pro-cycling lobby that is campaigning in favour of the LTNs. I do not begrudge them this; it is the privilege of our free and democratic society that we have the right to campaign for what we believe in. That same right however, means that local residents should be entitled to know what factors will influence the decision making process, which is what I have asked of Cllr Constance.

In the meantime – keep heart, and keep making your case. I would be delighted if every Littlemore candidate stood on a platform of #UnlockLittlemore, presenting a united voice for the community to the City and County Council. I appreciate some candidates won’t join me (!), but the very least we are due is that every candidate states where they stand on the LTN, enabling residents to vote accordingly.

Very important questions about #OxfordLTNs that need to be answered!

Email from Daniel to Cllr Yvonne Constance

Dear Yvonne,

Many thanks for your reply, and my own apologies for belated acknowledgement. Lockdown with two small children has not been easy, and I didn’t expect to be taking on a major campaign!

I am grateful for your comments below, and for directing my queries to the relevant team at the County Council. While disappointed that the clear opposition to the scheme and hurt caused is not noted, I appreciate your preparedness to consider the trial once it concludes. I would however appreciation clarity on the following points:

  1. Can I have assurances that the scheme will not be made permanent until there has been a trial period that involves a representative amount of normal traffic, that reflects both the easing of lockdown restrictions, and also normal school-time traffic? I am gravely concerned that the current six month trial will not give representative traffic data, as much of the early months will be covered by the lockdown, and in the later months we will be in the school summer holiday.
  2. Can you advise on what grounds the council will deliberate between the competing claims of residents favouring the scheme, and those who oppose the scheme? If it is the case that the Council will make the scheme permanent, even if a majority of respondents to the consultation oppose the scheme, then what criteria are being given more weight?
  3. Can I have assurances that when considering the pilot scheme, the County and City Councils will take note of:
    1. Whether the scheme is worsening traffic and air quality in other areas of Oxford?
    2. Whether the roads with increased traffic are able to cope with the increased volume of traffic?
    3. Whether there are alternative means to reduce unnecessary traffic, without cutting off communities from their local amenities?

I fully appreciate that you will be committed to your re-election campaign, among your other duties, and understand it may be some time before you are able to reply. Littlemore’s residents, my own family included, are very concerned that our legitimate concerns and questions are being dismissed out of hand. Assurances that we will be heard would go a long way to making Littlemore’s residents more inclined to welcome the LTN premise.

Warmest regards,

Daniel