Businesses in LTN area dispute claim they are ‘going from strength to strength’

Love Coffee and Hot Diggity Dawg, which is based in Hinksey Heights, have customers coming from LTN areas.

The former has shops in Oxford High Street, Iffley Road and Cowley Road.

Green councillor Emily Kerr had publicly posted on social media platform X on Sunday saying: “Good news that two local businesses very concerned about LTNs seem to be going from strength to strength.

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“The owner of Love Coffee has just opened his fourth outlet (third in the same LTN) and the owner of Hot Diggity Dawg is now recruiting more staff ‘due to expansion’.”

But both business owners disagreed with Ms Kerr’s assessment when contacted by the Oxford Mail.

Oxford Mail: Claude Meta.Claude Meta.

Love Coffee owner, Claude Meta, said: “I have lost some loyal customers.

“I work seven days a week – I wake up at 5.30am and go home at 11pm.

“I have a dream for myself.”

Mr Mata suggested the business was struggling from difficulty securing employees and also from LTNs.

He added: “I try to make enough money to pay the staff and if I’m lucky a wage for myself.

“Some of our customers from Abingdon Road can’t come anymore as it takes too long due to the traffic restrictions.

“I extended my business to other stores because I wanted to spend more time with my family.”

Ms Kerr, of the St Mary’s ward, said individuals “of course know their businesses better than I do”.

Oxford Mail: Emily Kerr.Emily Kerr. (Image: Oxford City Council.)

But she added that “factually a large number of businesses have launched” and noted “massive queues” outside her pub, the Chester Arms. 

Hot Diggity Dawg owner, Linda Elms, questioned the “assumptions”.

She said: “I’m having to take on more staff because of the LTNs as they’re just sat in traffic all day long.

“I’ll sit in traffic for around 40 minutes on Cowley Road – it’s beyond a joke.

“The LTNs haven’t helped my business at all. It’s the complete opposite.”

Oxford Mail: Linda Elms.Linda Elms. (Image: Contribution.)

The Hot Diggity Dawg business offers dog-sitting services to customers often dropping the animals back to their homes.

Ms Elms said: “I have to now have four of us going out as drivers who cover either side of the LTNs.

“The knock-on effect is I’ve had to buy two more vehicles and employ more drivers.

“Before the LTNs we didn’t have this problem.

“It’s crazy what we’re having to do.”

Oxford Mail: East Oxford LTN.East Oxford LTN. (Image: Ed Nix)

Ms Kerr responded: “East Oxford is full of vibrant interesting businesses, including many newly opened ones, and I would really encourage people to come and visit and judge for themselves.”

She listed Caper and the Larder in Magdalen Road and the Cat Café in Cowley Road as businesses that had recently launched.

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman added: “LTNs are intended to make residential streets safer and more comfortable for walking, wheeling, and cycling.

“They are designed to work with other measures to reduce the need to travel by car and improve journeys made by walking, cycling and public transport.

“We continue to monitor the LTNs on a site-by-site basis and evaluate their impact.”

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