Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – An Update (7th March)
On Monday, the last filter in the first of Cowley’s three new Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) will be installed. Although thanks to supply chain and delivery issues — something we’ve all experienced over the past year — there have been a few issues with installation.
That’s why many of us at Liveable Cowley — a group of neighbours who want to make sure these measures work for all of us — have been in contact with the council all week.
We wanted to write to you with an update as we’re sure that you, like us have been left with a few questions about what exactly is going on.
Why the big gaps in between the planters?
On Littlemore Road and Churc Hill Road the bollards required to complete the filter are supplied by a different contractor and were not ready on time. Without these bollards some drivers have continued to drive through the planters or worse on the pavement. We are told that bollards should be in place early next week.
On Bartholomew Road the number plate recognition cameras required to stop cars but allow buses through are also delayed. Cameras will arrive later, and until these are in place we must accept that the LTN is not in place.
Will it be safe while the filters are not installed properly?
A request has been made for the neighborhood policing team to be present in the Bartholomew Road area to support people on the first day back to school, to help ensure that any dangerous or confrontational situations are avoided.
The filters are designed so that they act as turning spaces – double yellow lines will soon be painted around all filters to prevent parking in these areas. It is important that the areas immediately next to the filters are kept clear so as to allow safe turning.
Why were there no warnings at the entrance to the roads?
The signage informing road users of the changes has been poorly positioned – most signs were not positioned at the entrance to the roads affected by the new filters. Contractors have been instructed by the council to correct this, which has been done.
Why hadn’t I heard about this?
Letters from the council to Church Cowley residents confirming installation dates were also delayed.
Is that it, just some empty boxes?
No! The boxes will be planted within the next couple of weeks, and there are many local community groups raring to maintain and beautify the planters further in the future. If you’d like to get in involve in the planting, or have any other ideas for making our neighbourhood more attractive or interesting as we explore it on foot, do get in touch
Is it going well? Is it going to plan?
In the first few weeks, and even months, things will be messy. As drivers replan their routes and routines, the normal response to meeting a new filter will be to turn around, and try to find an alternative route — this may mean more cars driving up and down your road in the short-term. All of us who have driven a car, or even come across a blockage to your walk know that this can be frustrating and distracting, so some drivers may be driving in a way that they normally wouldn’t.
We urge everyone to show patience with each other as we all get used to these changes — particularly while the Church Cowley scheme, the largest and most complicated will not be completed until the issues above have been addressed.
We expect that by the end of the Easter holidays, all works should have been completed and drivers should have become used to the changes. At that point we will assess and raise any immediate problems that have arisen. If you’d like to help Liveable Cowley do so, then please get in touch.
Then, we hope we will see more people slowly feel more confident to choose to walk, wheel or ride across our neighbourhood.
The schedule for filter installation is as follows. This plan is of course subject to the weather, and any further supply issues, so take it as a guide rather than a confirmed plan.
|Mon 8th March
|Tue 9th March
|Wed 10th March
|Thu 11th March
|Fri 12th March
|Mon 15th March
|Tue 16th March
|Wed 17th March
|Thu 18th March
Please note these are the planter installation dates – additional installations for bollards, number plate recognition cameras, permanent signage etc. may continue to the end of March.
Finally, just a reminder that the new ‘formal’ consultation on the Cowley LTNs is now open and available here.
We would like to draw you attention to the following – “NOTE: To help us evaluate the experimental Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, we would very much appreciate it if you could complete the additional survey (available by clicking here) at your earliest opportunity. Public opinion surveys will be conducted in the first month, after 5 months and, if the experimental Low Traffic Neighbourhoods continue, after 1 year.”
We urge everyone interested in the LTNs to take a look at the relevant council proposals (linked above), and engage with your local councillors where possible.