Drivers may need permits to drive in Oxford and only for 100 days

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Motorists planning on driving through Oxford may need special permits, if the local council goes through with its proposals. Oxfordshire County Council said that households would be given permits allowing them to drive across the city on 100 days a year per vehicle. 

The scheme will be policed by ANPR cameras at “traffic filter” locations across the city.

When the filters are in place, private cars will not be allowed through them without a permit.

All other vehicles, however, including buses, coaches, taxis, vans, mopeds, motorbikes and HGVs will be allowed at all times.

The cost of implementing the scheme is estimated to be £3million and will be largely funded by a bus service improvement plan grant.

According to YouGov figures, 60 percent of the 249 people surveyed in the city support plans to create six filters, while 30 percent oppose them.

More than 3,400 people have signed a petition against deploying them on Marston Ferry Road and Hollow Way.

Respondents were also asked about plans to expand the Zero Emissions Zone, and 69 percent were in favour, with 23 percent against.

The survey was carried out as part of a Citybus opinion survey on behalf of Oxfordshire Liveable Streets.

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A consultation ended on October 13, with the council expected to make a decision in November. If approved the filters could be introduced in the summer.

However, many drivers who are against the proposals have voiced their opinions.

Commenting underneath a local newspaper report one person said: “They’re removing choice, not helping people. This is obviously a lunatic idea.

“Forcing traffic onto fewer roads just causes gridlock as soon as there’s a spill/accident/sinkhole/burst water main / etc.”

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Another added: “Why are people given the illusion of an opinion that matters? This is simply corruption at its core.

“You know some friends of friends will be making loads and loads of money. Just like the LTNs and other traffic changes. Its all about money.”

A third said: “Moving traffic from one street to another is not called reducing. It’s moving!

“And paying thousands of pounds to move the traffic is not logical. I wonder why the council suddenly started making road work changes. Do they have any interest in any way?”

Another wrote: “Using all the tickets, it would only allow me to drive into and out of work one day per week during the year. I bet they’ll then start selling more tickets or cutting the number you get. The Government is cutting money for public transport improvements so all we’re going to be left with is a bunch of roads we aren’t allowed to use.”

Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways management, said the plans are part of a “vision for a vastly improved Oxford”.

He added: “We want to improve lives, transport and health for the people that live and work here. We have done a lot of modelling to reach these locations and we want to encourage people to choose to use their cars less.

“This is not about being anti-car, it’s about managing the way we use our roads so that they are safe for everyone. It’s about designing Oxford for the next decades and we want to hear from everyone. I would encourage people to comment and take part in the consultation, especially people who would not normally think about going online and commenting on it.”

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