Traffic 'carnage' after LTN rollout but some business owners are optimistic

·4-min read
Traffic 'carnage' after LTN rollout but some business owners are optimistic.
Traffic 'carnage' after LTN rollout but some business owners are optimistic.

East Oxford's Cowley Road saw traffic 'carnage' yesterday after bollards were set up to limit access to side roads.

These measures are part of a six month Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) trial taking place in the Divinity Road, St Clement’s, and St Mary’s areas.

There was a huge uproar as drivers were stuck in traffic on the road for up to 45 minutes, with Oxford Bus Company services being delayed by up to an hour from 5pm.

READ MORE: Photos as East Oxford LTNs are set for rollout in city

Oxford Mail: Photo of traffic 'carnage' on Cowley Road sent in by reader.
Oxford Mail: Photo of traffic 'carnage' on Cowley Road sent in by reader.

Photo of traffic 'carnage' on Cowley Road sent in by reader.

Khalid Atlasi, 33, who lives on Cowley Road said: “Today is the worst day for traffic I’ve seen. Cowley Road is the main route to the centre, so it’s normally busy, but today traffic hasn’t been moving. Especially at lunch time.

“It’s been hard for delivery drivers especially. The LTN’s are causing problems for people who live here.”

Out of eleven business owners interviewed on Cowley Road, nine felt traffic had been particularly heavy today with only two not noticing a difference.

Oxford Mail: LTN bollards set up on Cowley Road side roads today as trial comes into affect.
Oxford Mail: LTN bollards set up on Cowley Road side roads today as trial comes into affect.

LTN bollards set up on Cowley Road side roads today as trial comes into affect.

RECAP: Traffic 'gridlocked' and severe delays on Cowley Road

One frustrated motorist told the Oxford Mail: "It's absolutely chock-a-block. In one hour, I've moved half a mile."

A sales assistant at a record store on Cowley Road described the traffic as 'carnage', but did not want to be named due to the divisive nature of the issue.

He also commented that cars had been struggling to turn around at the LTN roadblocks.

Oxford Mail: LTN planters being set up on May 17. Photo by Ed Nix.
Oxford Mail: LTN planters being set up on May 17. Photo by Ed Nix.

LTN planters being set up on May 17. Photo by Ed Nix.

Sarah Wearden, owner of Indigo on Cowley Road, had a more optimistic approach saying: "There's been a bit of chaos today, but hopefully it will even out as people get used to the trial.

"It's the first day and there's definitely more traffic but it will be interesting to see how it will reduce traffic flow in the long run.

"What would be great is if bus prices could go down to balance it."

Miss Wearden, who has lived in the Cowley Temple ward for five years now, added: "I get that it is going to be an inconvenience for people but we've got to do something to change our day to day lives to solve other problems like air pollution."

Oxford Mail: Signs informed residents that LTN roadblocks would come into place on May 20, 2022.
Oxford Mail: Signs informed residents that LTN roadblocks would come into place on May 20, 2022.

Signs informed residents that LTN roadblocks would come into place on May 20, 2022.

READ MORE: Cowley councillor denies traffic chaos is caused by new LTNS

The LTNs consist of planters and bollards that stop traffic on certain roads and were consulted on between March and June 2021, before the set-up was completed yesterday, May 20.

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesperson said: "We understand that traffic may be moving more slowly in some parts of the city today and this is likely to be down to a number of factors, including ongoing road repairs, and the implementation of new LTN areas in east Oxford.

"We thank residents for their patience while these works are carried out, and while road users get used to the LTN measures."

Read more from this author

This story was written by Shosha Adie.

She joined the team in 2022 as a digital reporter.

To get in touch with her email: Shosha.Adie@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter: @ShoshaAdie

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