Low Traffic Neighbourhoods: Campaigners Guide
Key learning points
3. Inform & win support from local councillors
It is important to recognise that the public highway is a highly regulated space and no changes can be made without the agreement of the highway authority. It is easy to find your local Councillors on the Council websites – contact them and ask them whether they support the principle of LTNs, and offer information.
How we did it in Oxford
In Oxfordshire there is a two-tier authority, with the County Council responsible for roads and transport while Oxford City Council is responsible for planning.
On 10 April 2019 Cllr John Sanders (then the local County Councillor for Cowley Division) said to OLS: “City Councillor Christine Simm and I are very aware of the traffic speeding in Florence Park, which includes one of the most heavily used shortcuts in the city. Changing Florence Park neighbourhood into several Low Traffic Areas is a very good idea but would require considerable funding that the County Council does not have.”
On 14 Jul 2020 this Motion to the County Council by Councillor John Sanders was agreed unanimously: “This Council supports the concept of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and will aim to introduce them when and where feasible.”
In the 6 May 2021 County Council elections Charlie Hicks (54% of votes) replaced John Sanders (46% of votes) in the Cowley Division with an increased majority after campaigning in favour of LTNs.
When the Emergency Active Travel Fund was announced by central Government, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, County Councillors were consulted by the County’s ‘Cycling Champion’ Suzanne Bartington about what schemes they would prioritise for their Division. There was a mixed bag of proposed schemes including maintenance, but John Sanders submitted a proposal for traffic filters to create three LTNs for Cowley.