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  • Writer's pictureCllr Liam Walker

Councillor speaks out against Oxford bus gate plans

A £6.5m trial to stop most drivers in Oxford from using busy city routes at peak times has been approved.

The six traffic filters were given the go-ahead by Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet earlier.

More than 5,700 people took part in a consultation and thousands of others expressed concerns in petitions.

Just over 1,800 people signed one petition opposing the project over worries it would cause congestion on Botley Road.

The traffic filters are to be placed at:

  • Hythe Bridge Street

  • Thames Street

  • St Cross Road

  • St Clements

  • Hollow Way

  • Marston Ferry Road

They will operate for seven days a week from 07:00 until 19:00, except those in Marston Ferry Road and Hollow Way which would only operate from 07:00 until 09:00 and from 15:00 until 18:00, Monday to Saturday.

Any driver going through a filter who is neither exempt nor using a permit would be charged a £70 penalty.

Liam Walker, shadow cabinet member for highways, said the plans were "hitting residents' pockets and impacting businesses". He added: "Oxford is slowly being shut down under this anti-motorist coalition."

Support for the filters has previously come from Oxford University and Oxford Bus Company.

The council has said the project should not start before the planned revamp of Oxford train station, which is set to close part of Botley Road for most of 2023.

Thames Valley Police told the council as part of the consultation that it has "concerns" about the enforcement of the filters, "which [officers] must not be responsible for".

Expected penalties of about £1.1m could be generated by fining errant drivers.

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