The City markets the urban strategy as "small towns in our big city, where people can meet many of their daily needs locally.”
Still, as seen in Great Britain, that could quickly shift for a new reason other than simple convenience.
In January 2019, Oxford declared a climate emergency and quickly started drafting regulations, Oxford to Zero, to reflect the sense of urgency of the city council. One of those policies includes a time-restricted "travel filter" between six areas of the city.
According to a Reuters fact check:
This means that between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. private cars will need a permit to get through.
Drivers using the filters who do not have a permit, or are not exempt, will face a penalty charge notice of £35, which will increase to £70 if it is not paid within two weeks.
“Everywhere in the city will still be accessible by car, although some private car drivers may need to use a different route during the operating hours of the traffic filters,” the spokesperson said.
“Everyone, wherever they live, will still be able to drive to and from any destination in Oxford, or anywhere else, anytime they like, as often as they like.”
None of Oxford's restrictions apply to cyclists, despite the denial of a "climate lockdown" and Oxford's city website explains the travel filter as a restriction meant to battle climate change:
Traffic filters are an important tool to achieve this in Oxford. The proposed traffic filters will reduce traffic levels across the city. They will:
- make walking and cycling safer and more attractive.
- make bus journeys quicker and more reliable.
- enable new and improved bus routes.
- support investment in modern buses
- help tackle climate change, reduce local air pollution and improve the health and wellbeing of our communities.