Neighbourhood to get new traffic restrictions despite opposition

Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for transport management Andrew Gant gave the green light to two tiger crossings, a zebra crossing, no-waiting-at-any-time rules and shared-use cycle paths for Blackbird Leys at a meeting yesterday morning (April 25).

The parking restrictions will see double yellow lines introduced on both sides of Blackbird Leys Road alongside new shared and segregated cycle paths.

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Defending the move, Mr Gant said relevant aspects of approval had happened “years ago” and the scheme had planning permission so the remit of his decision was “quite narrow”.

Oxford Mail: Andrew Gant.Andrew Gant. (Image: Oxfordshire County Council.)

The Wolvercote and Summertown division county councillor added: “There is basically no grounds for refusing this scheme as a whole.”

At this point an officer offered a correction that statutory consultations on traffic schemes were “independent to the planning process” and so it was possible to refuse the plans but a “watertight” reason was needed.

Mr Gant clarified he had been jumping ahead and was referring to information he had in front of him.

As part of the council consultation, an unnamed Allin Close householder in Blackbird Leys, said: “Please don’t make our lives any harder than you already have – it’s so difficult trying to fulfil all my responsibilities and try and keep a job and caring duties.

“We already live on the edge of the city and it’s already hard enough – please stop punishing us. Why don’t you go to Jericho and Wolvercote and introduce lots of restrictions there instead?”

Oxford Mail: Blackbird Leys.Blackbird Leys. (Image: Oxford Mail)

The highways chief insisted the “whole point” of the scheme was to make life for those with caring duties “much easier”.

Mr Gant denied allegations the new traffic restrictions were a “money-making scheme” for the council as they are being put forward by a developer.

Registered speakers raised concerns about design-related aspects of the proposal with Danny Yee saying it was “not direct, not coherent”.

Mr Yee added: “The active travel team has clearly been involved too late.

“The zebra crossing is clearly good.”

Oxford Mail: Blackbird Leys road.Blackbird Leys road. (Image: Google Maps.)

A spokesman for CoHSAT – The Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel – said: “The scheme should be a lot better.

“We strongly support the parking controls which are necessary to get the buses working.

“The cycle route is the problem.

“Access is poor from several directions.”

Most objectors in the council consultation did support the idea for a zebra crossing but were specifically against the double yellow lines restriction and shared-use cycle path for Blackbird Leys Road.

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