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Oxford's existing low traffic neighbourhoods

Oxford already has a lot of low traffic neighbourhoods, without through routes for motor traffic (which is restricted to access). Some of these are "natural", in that they were effectively created by the geography, but new areas of housing are built as low traffic neighbourhoods — no one designs residential streets that will attract through traffic — and others have been retrospectively implemented by modal filters, usually bollards or gates. Here I document some of the latter.


The question for anyone opposing low traffic neighbourhoods is, are you also asking for these existing ones to be turned back into High Traffic Neighbourhoods? And if not, why not - what differences justify massively higher traffic volumes in Bartholemew and Crescent Rds than in Phipps and Farlands Rds?

As examples of new build low traffic neighbourhoods, consider the Waterside and Waterway developments along the North Oxford canal, or Reliance Way, Demesne Furze, and many others across the city.There is also one example of a "way before its time" School Streets scheme in Oxford, with a retractable bollard used to prevent motor vehicle access to St Philip and St James primary in north Oxford, at drop-off and pickup times.

East Oxford

Modal filters on Addison Cresecent and Meadow Lane (north) prevent the use of Iffley Fields as a rat-run to avoid the traffic lights at the Donnington-Iffley intersection. Barriers on Meadow Lane (south) and Freelands Rd provide the same protection to Donnington and Iffley Village.

[Click on the map for a larger version. Modal filters are marked in red.]

Also note that there is no way to drive directly between Iffley Village and Rose Hill.


There are no through routes from Morrell Ave to Cowley Rd in between Divinity Rd and Cross St/Princes St. This low traffic area was created in the 1990s1985 using gates and bollards on Union St and East Ave/Collins St.

A gate on Phipps Rd stops cut-throughs from the B480 to Barns Rd and creates a low traffic neighbourhood. A one-way restriction and a no-right-turn sign stop St Luke's Rd being used as a rat-run.


South Oxford

Potential cut-throughs around the junction of Weirs Lane and Abingdon Rd have been stopped by modal filters on Canning Crescent and Fox Crescent. Wytham St is also filtered where it meets Abingdon Rd, though that is presumably to simplify the junction.


North Oxford

This gate on Hayfield Rd (and the one-way routing of Polstead Rd) almost makes the area to the north a low traffic neighbourhood; it also helps keep motor traffic off a key cycling route.


Headington and Marston

Bollards on Bateman St create part of a low traffic neighbourhood.


A filter on Staunton Rd creates an incomplete low traffic neighbourhood. It's still possible to use Woodlands and Sandfield to avoid the Headley Way-London Rd traffic lights, but Staunton and most of Sandfield are protected from through traffic.


And here's a map by Scott Urban showing East Oxford's LTNs, current (pink) and proposed (purple and yellow). If you include the "natural" low traffic neighbourhoods, it's clear that "Normal Traffic Neighbourhoods" are actually the norm, with just a few remaining "High Traffic Neighbourhoods"...


  1. This is excellent! I guess we need to rip out all these filters. How are the people in these neighbourhoods coping???

    Comment by Scott Urban — September 2020
  2. The East Avenue and Union Street filters are from the 1985 3-month experiment -- bit earlier than 1990s.

    Comment by Scott — September 2020
  3. Brilliant. Thanks Danny. It would be great to map the whole city as apart from Jericho much of the residential areas between Woodstock Road and the canal and Banbury Road and the Cherwell are LTNs as well.. Could someone work out for us what percentage of Oxford’s population is already living in an LTN? It is probably quite high.

    Comment by Alison Hill — January 2021
  4. Arguably Glanville Road and Cumberland Road are not low-traffic as they are used as a circuit for collect and drop-off at Oxford Spires Academy. A nice school street scheme here would fix that beautifully!

    Comment by Tony — February 2021

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