Oxford County Council have decided to trial a controversial new traffic filtering system set to start in 2024. The official reason for the new traffic filters is the County Council believe they will ease Oxford’s congestion, improve the bus services and make cycling and walking more pleasant.
The newly proposed trial is essentially dividing the city of Oxford into six zones and then limiting the number of times private vehicles can cross between zones. The new traffic filters would be enforced using number plate recognition and the residents of Oxford would have to register their vehicle with the council to be eligible for the 100 yearly car journeys between zones.
The controversial new traffic filters are accused of being Climate Lockdowns in everything but name. Since the decision was taken by Oxford County Council in late November to bring in the trial, there has been stiff opposition to the plans. Both the Oxford County Council and Oxford City Council have been inundated with emails criticising the Council’s decision.
Despite opposition to the controversial trial, Duncan Enright, cabinet member for travel and development strategy, told British media that “It’s going to happen, definitely.” Protests have been planned for February and local businesses and individuals have been vocal saying they will not comply with what they call ‘Climate Lockdowns’.
Opponents to the trial noted the similarities between the Oxford County Councils plans for a ‘15 minute city’ and the plans of the World Economic Forum who also advocate for ’15 minute cities’. Oxford is the first UK city to trial these traffic filters and opposition groups are concerned that if the new measures are applied permanently that this could lead to more restrictions on peoples freedom of movement.