Drivers in Oxford may need PERMITS to be allowed to drive across the city… and then on only 100 days a year under new scheme to cut traffic
- Households would be given permits to drive in city 100 days a year per vehicle
- Scheme will be policed by ANPR cameras at ‘traffic filter’ locations across city
- A £70 penalty would be charged to drivers without permits if plans go ahead
- Council plans designed to cut local traffic and improve public transport timings
Residents in Oxford may need permits to drive across the city centre, if council plans get the go-ahead.
Under the proposal, which will be decided upon next month, households would be issued with permits allowing them to drive across the city on 100 days a year per vehicle. Up to three permits will be issued to each household, with one licence per person.
The scheme will be policed by ANPR cameras at ‘traffic filter’ locations across the city. Exemptions would be issued for buses, delivery vans, HGVs, motorbikes and mopeds. A £70 penalty would be charged to drivers without permits.
Under the council proposal, which will be decided upon next month, households would be issued with permits allowing them to drive across the city on 100 days a year per vehicle. Pictured: Oxford city centre
Duncan Enright, a county councillor leading the policy, said it was designed to cut local traffic and improve public transport journey times.
At the end of the trial, which could be extended up to a maximum of 18 months, Oxfordshire County Council will make a decision over whether to make the traffic filters permanent.
The restrictions, due to be introduced in August, will take effect between 7am and 7pm seven days a week in four of the six camera locations, but not on Sundays in the other two.
But one local resident criticised the permit scheme for being based ‘on the meaningless administrative borders of the City of Oxford rather than on distance or need.’
Another commenting on a local newspaper report of the proposals pointed out that motorists already paid road fund licence to use the roads, adding: ‘This is nothing but a means to earn more money.’
The cost of traffic filters is estimated to be £3m and will be largely funded by the bus service improvement plan grant. The county council’s consultation on the trial scheme closed earlier this month.
In February, Oxford introduced a pilot Ultra Low Emission Zone on a handful of city streets, with plans to expand the scheme across the whole of the city centre
Its cabinet is due to make a decision on November 29, but Mr Enright said he was confident colleagues would give it the green light.
Last year, Birmingham floated similar proposals as part of its new transport plan to reduce car trips into and through the city centre. Schemes directing traffic to the ring road are already in place in the Belgian and Dutch cities of Ghent, Groningen and Leuven.
At the heart of the Oxford plan is a desire to reduce traffic and make city living more pleasant, encouraging neighbourhood living where people walk or cycle within a 20-minute radius for daily goods and services.
The city, home to BMW’s Mini factory, gave rise to Britain’s first full time park and ride scheme in 1973. In February, Oxford introduced a pilot Ultra Low Emission Zone on a handful of city streets, with plans to expand the scheme across the whole of the city centre.
Only fully electric vehicles are exempt from charges, varying from £2 to £10 a day depending on vehicle emissions.