Updates, news and online-meeting information related to proposals to create three emergency liveable neighbourhoods for Cowley — in Church Cowley, Florence Park and Temple Cowley — are detailed on the Cowley Liveable Neighbourhoods page: oxlivsts.org.uk/cowley

Please feel free to use the space below to post your comments and questions. All views are important and welcome. (Abusive comments will not be posted.)

46 replies
  1. Steve Davies
    Steve Davies says:

    The AA Router has for many years recommended Newman Road, Cowley Road Littlemore and Bartholomew Road as the best route from Littlemore roundabout to Barnes Road and also Blackbird Leys. This route is 1.3 miles whereas the route back to Littlemore is 1.1 miles via Sandy Lane West. With the proposed blockages for cars the route be 1.8 miles and three additional traffic light clogging up Between Towns Road to get to Barnes Road. Bartholomew Road is already a 20 mile-an-hour restricted which could be policed. It is straight and wide and a useful through route. Please preserve Bartholomew Road for cars. Also consult the COOP which will lose from all but one direction and also lose through traffic calling in.

    Reply
    • Cllr David Henwood
      Cllr David Henwood says:

      Thank you Steve for your insight. These initiatives have been introduced due to the current pandemic. I feel services associated with the pandemic should be preserved to those people living on Bartholomew Road, I have asked the county council to consider exemptions for pharmaceutical and food deliveries for those families self-isolating along with access for blue badge holders and families with SEND or infirm relatives.
      I have also asked for an exemption for the co-op on Littlemore Road, as they have multiple deliveries throughout the day.
      Journey times will for many people using a car will prove to be longer, and in my view if Littlemore residents did try to use the Newman Road to turn right onto the A4158 it will be too dangerous dangerous, due to narrowing created by recently installed shoulders. I have asked County Council to urgently review removing them to make turning right by bike or car safer.

      Reply
  2. Christine Taylor
    Christine Taylor says:

    I agree in principle with these plans – for less traffic on our roads in Temple Cowley. But I think the planners/Councillors should be very open to changing the position of the road blocks, if we find that they are in the wrong place. Hollow Way could become dangerous. And I continue to ask for Residents’ Parking or “Controlled Parking Zones” in Temple Cowley.

    Reply
    • Cllr David Henwood
      Cllr David Henwood says:

      Thank you Christine for this comment. I agree this is something local Councillors will need to monitor, I also think we should be knocking on doors to listen to local residents to develop a broad picture of opinion in the area.

      Reply
  3. Jordan Tanner
    Jordan Tanner says:

    I am the chair of governors at St Christopher’s school in Temple Cowley and I feel that the restrictions being placed on Temple road, will have a massive impact on the families who have to travel to school by for multiple reasons.
    The very little consultation on this plan is terrible.
    Cllr John Sanders is immovable on his opinion that this is a much needed approach for the area and will not and is not willing to accept that some of these changes are not in the interests of all.

    Reply
  4. Josh
    Josh says:

    I have only found out about this via a yellow leaflet put through my letterbox. I am amazed this is being allowed to go through without proper consultation, and all under the guise of “emergency” due to Covid 19.
    It seems to me that certain influencers in Oxford are blatantly using the Covid crisis as a means of getting policies through that would otherwise have a lot more scrutiny and objection. After all, if you haven’t been allowed to live life as a normal human being for 5 months, why would you get het up about some local traffic scheme.
    For those of you living in the residential streets in and around Cowley, this must be a godsend indeed – why wouldn’t it be? But for those of us who live next to the main roads, then the traffic will become even worse – have you considered that? This is classic NIMBYism by people who normally snort in derision and NIMBYs. Not everyone can or wants to ride or walk somewhere. We are at once being told avoid using public transport due to Covid, but now we are being encouraged to use it. I will be sending a full objection to the council – unless of course it is too late for that. I wrote to Andrew Smith in 2006 regarding the falling interest rate and the buy to let mortgage explosion which Oxford fell victim to. This has meant that many, many more houses are now multiple occupancy, and many of those residents have cars. You would have been (or be – though that horse has well and truly bolted) better off complaining about that. The ongoing low interest rates and availability of cheap mortgages has meant that property prices in Oxford have become prohibitive, so more and more people working in Oxford have to live in the county towns and commute in. I’m one of the lucky ones, I live within cycling distance of my workplace, do have a car, but only use it once or twice a week to visit my elderly parents or go to the shops, or further afield for holidays or volunteer work. But we live in a community, and devising ways of punishing some members of that community because of the road (and the word “road” is significant here – you do not live on wide pavements that happen to be used by cars) they live on smacks of NIMBYism and selfishness. Speed bumps, such as those in place in Howard Street and Magdalen Road, and some one-way measures would be just as effective as a deterrent, without making certain streets no go zones, and others increasingly clogged with traffic, at the increasing expense of the people living there. Of course, my sentiments are grounded in NIMBYism too – but at least I admit it. I moved to my current house knowing full well that there was a lot of traffic on the road. Now you want me to tolerate even more, so you can have none. That seems very unfair.

    Reply
  5. Richard E
    Richard E says:

    I live on Cornwallis Road and I am very pleased to see this initiative and fully support the proposal for the Florence Park area. It will help create a safer, more pleasant and vibrant neighbourhood and community in the area. I have concerns that the bus gate by Cornwallis Close will create parking problems for people visiting the Isis Care Home and the Doctors Surgery. This end of Cornwallis Road is already used for daytime parking by people travelling into Oxford by car who work in the centre as it is close to a bustop. I propose the scheme looks at restricting street parking during the day between the bus gate and Henley Avenue with more off road parking for the care home visitors.

    Reply
  6. tony
    tony says:

    Hi…I live in Church Hill rd and think this is an excellent idea….although my next concern will be the parking problems in my street….as it will become a no through road to cars it will then become a haven for parking..the problem then is drivers coming into the street to park will use residents drives to turn around…sounds trivial I know but will be an annoyance…Im hoping a residents only parking policy will be created…thanks

    Reply
  7. Laura
    Laura says:

    I totally support this as a local resident – anything which reduces air pollution and makes it safer to walk and cycle is brilliant!

    Reply
  8. Abi
    Abi says:

    I am very much in support of the Oxfordshire County Council’s proposal for a model filter system to create a low traffic area in Florence Park

    I have lived on Rymers Lane for 13 years now. But over the last few years the traffic using Rymers, Littlehay and Cornwallis as cut through roads has increased so much and drivers speeds increased so considerably, that it has become unsafe and unsustainable.

    I understand initially this would be an adjustment for people who use the Flo Park estates’ roads to get to other places, as it will be for us (my family) as residents, but the difference it would make to our lives would be incredible – my kids could actually cycle and cross safely on their own road and we wouldn’t have to breathe in a lungful of exhaust fumes on our walk to school everyday.

    I also understand why the idea of filters on the Rymers Lane (the park end) might cause a certain amount of worry for those who live near the school, but I think these filters will have long term positive impact for all of us. People feel happier letting their kids cycle to school if there is less traffic – therefore less car journeys via Flo Park, Cricket and Shelley Road and perhaps as part of a new low traffic area St Greggs could start (if they haven’t already) a ‘Cycle to School’ initiative in order to help make life for us, their neighbours, at both ends of Cricket Road and Shelley Road less congested?

    Reply
  9. Judith
    Judith says:

    Adding to the debate specially on Hollow Way though all these plans will improve my quality of life .I usually either cycle or use the 10 bus for Horspath diy and hospital appointments. Since lockdown ended the traffic is horrendous. I’m an experienced cyclist but have been scared by near misses caused by impatient drivers. Getting past parked vehicles in both directions causes delays for both bike and bus. When I need to drive I head for the ring road where the delays may add a little time but at least I feel safe. The bus gate seems to me to be an experiment worth trying, as do all of these plans.

    Reply
  10. Clare Church Cowley
    Clare Church Cowley says:

    I’ve been living in Church Cowley for 10 years and before that for 20 years in E Oxford. Over that time the traffic has become unbearable. I’ve been wishing for this for all that time. I walk, I cycle, I drive too. This will make an improvement to all my journeys because short-cutting in the area makes all my journeys more difficult at present. I can’t wait not to have to listen to fast cars speeding through the street from my living room or back garden. I have seen this work in Europe. The environment will be less noisy, less polluted. We will be able to speak to neighbours on the street. More people enjoy walking our streets, more people will feel safe to cycle perhaps. I feel sure everyone will benefit ultimately. It just might take a bit of getting used to, but then so did Covid 19 lockdown and we managed that.

    Reply
  11. Alan Brown
    Alan Brown says:

    I’m a resident of Florence Park and I fully support this initiative …

    I understand concerns raised surrounding displaced traffic though am also convinced by evidence from elsewhere that such scheme do lead to an overall reduction in traffic due to (amongst other thing) reduced demand to make car journeys within LTNs themselves.

    However my main reason is the improved safety around Florence Park itself, particularly the cross roads of Rymers Lane/Littlehay/Cornwallis road … They’re just too dangerous with frequent accidents with the rat runs enables by the current road configuration.

    Reply
  12. Steve Dawe
    Steve Dawe says:

    We need these initiatives because the housing now agreed in the Oxford City Plan and in neighbouring Oxfordshire will radically increase traffic if built. We need protection for each community with a lot of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and the continuation of the County policy of Controlled Parking Zones throughout Oxford. Or, to put in another way, a healthier society will develop if more people make their journeys on foot and by bike. People also seem to be missing that lower traffic levels outside the front door puts house prices up for owners: can’t believe anyone would complain about that.

    Reply
  13. Sara
    Sara says:

    Hi, I live in Florence Park and am in full support of this both for our community and the wider East Oxford community.
    I do believe, from all I’ve read and listening to people on both sides of the argument, that this gives us a good opportunity to reduce traffic congestion across the area and result in better spaces to live.
    Importantly this is not a car vs bike issue as no one is suggesting barring access to any where by car, but it is hopefully creating a safer space to travel by alternative methods.
    I understand the shock some people have at the speed at which this is being suggested being done but I also feel optimistic with the time period afterwards for the council to consult and evaluate the impact, and make changes if necessary, that communities will feel heard and included in the decision making.
    This is a time when we need to tackle the volume of traffic and I’m hopeful these steps are a positive move to achieving that in East Oxford.

    Reply
  14. John K
    John K says:

    I live in Church Cowley and am very concerned about the volume and speed of traffic on Littlemore Rd, so I’m really pleased to see that this proposal will prevent car drivers from using this road as a short cut.

    This proposal will inconvenience us as it adds half a mile (and 2 sets of lights) to our car journeys to Littlemore/Rose Hill Roundabout. However the positives far, far outweigh the negatives for us.

    We have four young children and cross Littlemore Road every day by cycle or on foot on the way to and from school. The volume and speed of car traffic makes this very difficult and dangerous. We’ve had many near misses with cars. Our eldest child will soon be old enough to walk to school alone however as things stand this just wouldn’t be safe.

    This scheme will make a huge difference for our children and I’m fully supportive of it!

    Reply
  15. Maggie Lewis
    Maggie Lewis says:

    Hi Sohel,
    Yes, I was the person to tell you and Rachel. It looks suspiciously like the information has been given to supporters as I was the only person who objected at one point – I am not anti-bike but it does feel that some supporters are anti-car. I am sure that you will be fitter if you walk or cycle but some people can’t and some people don’t want to. I have made an amendment to the Council but the answers are always the same and dismissed. I can only hope that the emergency services will object. If not, some residents may be affected if they take longer. Ironically, it doesn’t matter to me personally as no difference but it may make a difference if to get to Flo Park they have to go to Between Towns Road and that awful mini-roundabout to get there instead of the speeding down the Oxford Road and using the short cut. I think this is a done deal and like TC Pools the decision has been made. I am glad residents have been able to voice against the proposal as well as for. That is all I wanted, it would be nice to think that the Council will listen. The support may be more but we live in a democracy and we can have different opinions without being made to feel guilty or wrong – that may be your opinion and you are entitled to it.

    Reply
  16. Hannah Rhodes
    Hannah Rhodes says:

    I am really excited by these plans as I live on one of the worst streets for rat running and am fearful for my children’s safety as we walk to the park and to nursery. My hope is that this scheme will help cause a shift in behaviour and that walking and cycling will be the new normal.

    Reply
  17. Dave Taylor
    Dave Taylor says:

    While this is an approach that I support, I do not think that the suggested map is an acceptable finished iteration – I’ll deal here with the section south of Church Cowley / Between Towns Toad.

    The filter on Littlemore Road – this is not like the other streets that you are easing here; it is a medium-sized through route, the main road from Littlemore to the retail facilities at Templars Square / John Allen Centre, or conversely from inside-the-ring-road Littlemore to the parade of shops and eateries near the ring road underpass. I submit that it is simply inappropriate to Littlemore’s needs to block it off.

    Other vital facilities which will become much more awkward to access from Littlemore – the Royal Mail sorting office at Sandy Lane West (currently accessed via Littlemore Road, Bartholomew Road, and Barns Road; after this requiring a trip on the often heavily congested Ring Road), and the GP at Donnington Health Centre (currently accessed via Littlemore Road and Cornwallis Road).

    I support the use of these methods to ease suburban streets, creating more child-friendly environments. I do not support their use to block off needed through routes that are already less dense with housing than the streets leading from them. Removing the Littlemore Road filter from the plan would solve, or at least ease, the problems posed to access to all three of the facilities listed above from Littlemore.

    Reply
    • David Henwood
      David Henwood says:

      Thank you Dave for your insight.
      Journey times will for many people using a car will prove to be longer, and in my view if Littlemore residents did try to use the Newman Road to turn right onto the A4158 it will be dangerous, due to narrowing created by recently installed shoulders. I have asked County Council to urgently review removing them.

      Reply
  18. Sallion
    Sallion says:

    I do not support these proposals as they are now. As far as I am aware no consultation has been done with local residents, certainly not in the Church Cowley area and the position of the filters and bus gate in Bartholomew Road will not help the traffic in this area but could make it worse on many roads. It will also been impossible for traffic on the ‘wrong side’ of the bus gate to reach the Littlemore Road roundabout on the ring road so will increase traffic on Barnes Road and Between Towns Road which are already very busy. This will lead to poorer air quality for those shopping at Cowley Centre.

    Reply
  19. David
    David says:

    It is disgusting that this is being pushed through without consultation. A few people whom think they know best.
    What is the economic impact going to be for businesses in and around the areas, have they been consulted. What impact will this have on the regeneration of the Temple Cowley shopping center? Will the developers want to refurbish the shopping areas if they know fewer people can access it? I’m sure a park and ride scheme has been factored in (by this dictatorship) in regard to the new shopping center….?

    Reply
    • David Henwood
      David Henwood says:

      I agree with you that consultation is key to successful decision making. As volunteers we did try to leaflet every dwelling in the affected area, and hold roadside information stalls to inform residents of the proposed changes. In saying that, County Council had to develop and submit the scheme in less than eight weeks, making a formal consultation impossible.
      I would like to reassure you I have requested an exemption for the Coop on Littlemore Road, as they have a range of deliveries in different types of vehicles throughout the day.
      There are many empty units at the Cowley Centre, which is a real concern. With the current ‘multi-story’ car park destined to be removed first, access to the remaining two car parks will require a further review.
      I have met with the developers of the centre recently, they remain committed to developing the centre.

      Reply
  20. Steve Dawe
    Steve Dawe says:

    Experience from Waltham Forest in London with its use of modal filters indicates car journeys do ‘evaporate’ and local shops prosper when people find it easier to move on foot or by bike. The air pollution and noise generated by traffic benefit no one and need reducing in all residential areas. Our housing was designed and built with the traffic levels of its date of construction in mind, not the appalling rush hour-school run traffic of today. We should take steps to make our Neighbourhoods and communities better for walking and cycling

    Reply
  21. Tom
    Tom says:

    So great that for once it’s not the wealthy bits of North Oxford that are getting the special treatment! This could make a huge difference for the children who go to the many schools in these neighbourhoods.

    Reply
  22. GS
    GS says:

    Great schemes. Desperately needed. The amount of traffic is unacceptable at the moment.

    The one oversight I think is there should be a bus gate on Cowley Road at the point of the underpass. That is a horrendous rat run into/out of Littlemore for traffic that should be on the main road.

    Reply
  23. admin
    admin says:

    Hopefully now things are better, with County keeping you fully informed. I think part of the fault here is ours, for not ensuring you were notified at the very start. We gave the county councillor our undertaking to contact all the city councillors and unfortunately there were some oversights in this process.

    Reply
  24. Katie
    Katie says:

    I strongly support these proposals. This will make the air less polluted which will be healthier for all of us. It was interesting to read that the cleaner air during lock down was linked to a relief in symptoms for people with respiratory disease: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/04/cleaner-air-during-uk-lockdown-relieves-asthma-for-millions-lung-conditions-coronavirus. It will also be so much safer for children, older people and all who walk or cycle around the community. My road is 20mph yet we have frequent speeding cars going through at about 50mph or more with little consideration for the residents who live here. I look forward to a cleaner, safer neighbourhood.

    Reply
  25. Danielle Ballantine-Drake
    Danielle Ballantine-Drake says:

    I understand people are surprised by the speed of the proposed changes – normally we have to wait a long time for change! I fully support the plans because if you look closely you will notice that everyone can still have access to their homes. The only difference is that extra traffic will not be passing through so the roads will be quieter and safer. If you need to get to somewhere on the far side of your area you will have the option of walking or cycling directly through, or driving just slightly longer around the edge of the zone. The benefits far out way any difficulties. Plus if any significant problems become obvious then the filters can be moved or different plans devised. It is really worth giving this a fair shot and taking advantage of the speed with which it can potentially happen.

    Reply
  26. Richard Scrase
    Richard Scrase says:

    Hello, I would like to support these changes. Restricting through routes for cars is the only way to calm streets, reduce traffic and make more room for walking, buses and bikes. With calmer streets, parents like me would be more willing to allow my children to walk and cycle to school rather than taking them myself.

    Reply
  27. Will
    Will says:

    Really exciting changes being made to transform residential streets back into the quiet streets they were originally meant to be! Hoping the scheme is successful and spreads to the rest of Oxford!

    Reply
  28. Scott
    Scott says:

    By doing all three areas at once, we are refusing to leave anyone behind. The effective reach of these 3 liveable neighbourhoods is 5 km-squared.

    Reply
    • Sohel
      Sohel says:

      Except the people living on the Oxford road that is! We have neither been included or at the very least been able to voice our opinion this far.

      Reply
  29. P. Cornell
    P. Cornell says:

    Surely there needs to be more consultation and thought put into the placements of these filters. The filter at the top of Churchill Road and the one at the junction of Mayfair Road/Oxford Road (Littlemore) will surely trap all the vehicles in the neighbouring roads to only one route that is through Westbury Crescent, if I am reading these plans correctly.

    Reply
    • Inez Yule
      Inez Yule says:

      Exactly!! This has NOT been thought through properly at all.
      Growing up in Mayfair Road, it’s a busy area, but needs to be as all traffic comes through including delivery/emergency/transport services,some of the services are the only way people can live, different generations live in this Road and connecting to it.
      I Disagree with this 100%
      It will cause more traffic in and around Cowley, Littlemore, Rose Hill, and confusion,giving directions is bad enough now this will cause more stress and emissions.

      Reply
        • KJC
          KJC says:

          This is correct. It will make the traffic worse as all the residents of Mayfair Rd, Kelburne Rd, Hillsborough Rd, Fairlie Rd will all have to exit through Westbury Crescent. It would be better to relocate the barrier so that Mayfair Rd, Fairlie Rd and Hillsborough Rd exit through Cowley Rd end and Westbury Crescent, Kelburne Rd and Wykeham Crescent exit through Westbury Crescent. I use a car and a bicycle and it will create a dangerous “weaving in and out” of parked cars to get in and out, not to mention the issues with cars travelling in opposite directions getting jammed up because of cars parked on the road. It may be better to make Westbury Crescent a one way system like a big roundabout to even out the traffic flow into one direction or put in double yellow lines on one side. This hasn’t been thought through very well at all.

          Reply
  30. Kirsty Hull
    Kirsty Hull says:

    In principle this is a great idea but needs more thought. If the filters were placed in the locations on this diagram we will see a significant increase in traffic past our house, making our road more dangerous. I know time is pressing to get the funding but there is a real risk of plans being unsupported and causing significant upset to neighbourhoods unless they are more thought through and there is more consultation with all residents of the affected areas.

    Reply
  31. Mrs C Faulknerj
    Mrs C Faulknerj says:

    Why as a resident in this area am I only just finding out about this!! I can’t understand WHY residents haven’t been consulted when it is effecting US more than anyone!!

    Reply
  32. R Beagley
    R Beagley says:

    I live in a street further down on Cricket Road and haven’t heard anything about these proposed changes in the Florence Pk area until a friend told me last night (30th June) and it will impact my street hugely.
    If Littlehay Road is blocked off from traffic this will push traffic through Shelley Road instead from Cowley Road because it is the next open street down from Littlehay Rd (Milton Rd is already blocked off). The next street down from Shelley Rd is Howard Street which is one way so limited access through that way.
    If Modal Filters are put on Cricket Rd by Florence Pk this will block access to St Gregs School further down the road. Again this will push cars to go through Shelley Rd to access the School and will cause grid lock on this road (you have to access St Gregs on a one way system through their grounds and the exit is opposite the end of Shelley Rd at the Cricket Rd end). Parking on the road outside Florence Park also means access via Shelley Rd.
    Consultation is needed to include the Residents in streets coming off Cricket Rd (past Florence Pk) as these changes will have a major impact including increased pollution on these streets if there is more traffic coming down them (it’s already very busy with traffic) There is also knock on implications for Emergency vehicles and service vehicles if these roads are blocked off.

    Reply
    • Maggie Lewis
      Maggie Lewis says:

      That’s exactly how I will be, there will be more traffic in different places, people will not just cycle and walk. I had an email from OXTRAG who also were not informed.

      Reply
  33. Verity
    Verity says:

    Absolute nonsense! All you want is people to get on their bikes!! Oxford City Council get realistic!! You are going to cause more problems on the roads, especially the bypass!! What happens when there is an accident and Oxford is in gridlock?? Absolutely ridiculous, I think you should fix the roads than trying to make life harder!! It’s an absolute joke! This will make life so much harder living in Cowley.

    Reply
    • GS
      GS says:

      All residents and businesses retain full access.

      What do you think happens now? The police will redirect traffic accordingly.

      Also there really aren’t that many accidents that close roads in the city. traffic doesn’t go fast enough. Most of that sort of traffic is caused by accidents on the a34, ring road or m40. Not being able to rat run past people’s houses in Cowley won’t help you there because the block will not be in Oxford.

      Reply
  34. Sohel Ahmad
    Sohel Ahmad says:

    Good evening,

    I have recently been made aware of the proposed scheme, no formal notice has been given to any of the residents of Oxford road. We seem to have been ‘missed out’ of the consultation. I for one have reservations regarding the diverting of traffic along an already busy road. I have heard that surrounding roads have actually had an easing of congestion, some evidence would be helpful. While we are on the subject why hasnt Oxford road been included in the plan/ a large section of the road is dedicated to housing, As stated in your information B roads can be included! surely we can keep the bus routes and install bus gates with ANPR camers to stop through traffic.

    Regards

    Sohel Ahmad

    Reply

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