Controversy over Oxford traffic filters leaves councillors facing ‘abuse’

Both Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council have released a joint statement to correct viral misinformation on traffic filters.  

A few weeks ago, Oxfordshire approved a £6.5m trial of the filters after a consultation of 5,700 people and a petition against the measure was signed by just 1,800 people.  

An article on a known climate denial website claimed the authority was trying to implement a ‘climate lockdown’ by 2024, leading to the ‘abuse’ of councillors.  

bicycles parked on sidewalk near buildings during daytime

‘We take the wellbeing of our colleagues seriously and are taking appropriate steps to provide staff and councillors with support,’ the local authorities said. ‘We are working with Thames Valley Police to report the most extreme abuse.  

‘The misinformation has also resulted in both councils receiving numerous calls and social media messages from worried residents.’  

Both councils have now corrected claims in the article and laid out the facts about the traffic filters scheme.  

The filters will be placed in six areas of the city and will operate from 7am to 7pm seven days a week, except in two places.  

On Marston Ferry Road and Hollow Way they will be open from 7am until 9am and then from 3pm to 6pm Monday to Saturday.  

Drivers who aren’t exempt or don’t have a permit will be charged £70 for driving through these areas at these times.  

100 day passes per year will be offered to residents and businesses affected and there will be exemptions for blue badge holders, emergency services, health workers and care workers.  

Contrary to what the viral article says, the traffic filters will not have physical barriers, but will be monitored by traffic cameras which can read number plates.  

The councils have also corrected claims that residents will be confined to their local area and will need permission to travel across the city.  

An official report for Oxford City Council found the filters could reduce congestion by 35%, while a local group Oxfordshire Liveable Streets said the measure could speed up journeys on public transport.  

Photo by James Coleman


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