DRARA ACTION ON... TRAFFIC
DRARA Low Traffic Neighbourhood Survey now live!
All residents of the DRARA area should have now received a paper copy of the survey through their door. Members of the DRARA mailing list will also have received the link in our latest email.
If you are are a resident of the DRARA area who is not on the DRARA email circulation list and would like the link to the online version, or if you need further paper copies, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org, stating your name and postcode. Please note, the survey closes at 20:00 on 9th March 2021.
A unique chance to stop the rat running through our streets!
As you’re no doubt aware, our area has been enduring extreme traffic problems for many years – and it keeps getting worse. With 6000 vehicles using Divinity Road every day, we are living on one of the busiest rat-runs in Oxford and this has a serious impact on the health and wellbeing of residents of all ages.
But now we’ve been given a chance to address the problem. As part of a nationwide traffic initiative, Oxfordshire County Council is putting in place a number of pilot Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) schemes. This is all happening fast, and the very short notice has meant we’ve had to make some decisions quickly in order to put forward a trial LTN proposal for our neighbourhood.
While we may not have found the solution that everyone wants (sadly, it’s impossible to please everyone), we can’t just stand by and do nothing. With ten Oxford areas all putting forward pilot LTN schemes, we need to be part of the citywide movement to change the way we travel. Quite simply, if we don’t take part, even more traffic will divert through our streets with all the dangers and problems that will bring.
This opportunity to try a new way to stop rat running through our streets is genuine and could truly transform the quality of our lives as residents.
On this page, we have created a space where you can find lots of information and links to help you reach your own understanding and view.
The County Council’s timeline for implementing pilot LTN’s is shown below. We believe that public and resident consultation for our LTN begins in May, having been designed by County Traffic Engineers. This will be the way everyone can give their views on their proposal.
Please see below to find information on the LTN proposal and to also ask your questions.
DRARA - LOW TRAFFIC NEIGHBOURHOOD (LTN) PROPOSAL
What can you expect: A few facts on becoming a Low Traffic Neighbourhood
As you will hopefully be aware, our neighbourhood is part of an Oxford-wide scheme to implement nine Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – including Headington, Cowley and St Mary’s -, by March 2021.
Becoming a Low Traffic Neighbourhoods means preventing traffic from taking shortcuts through our streets. This means drivers will need to find new routes. As with all changes to the transport network, it will take a bit of time for people to adjust.
However, evidence shows that people do adjust – their routes, their mode and the times they choose to travel – and therefore significant traffic increases are not likely to be permanent.
The overall aim is to reduce traffic across Oxford and make our residential streets more pleasant, inclusive and safer for people to walk and cycle. The pandemic was a wake-up call. During the height of the UK’s lockdown, traffic on our streets reduced dramatically and in turn, air pollution fell in some areas by up to 50 per cent. With less traffic and safer, quieter streets, we saw people of all ages and abilities experience the benefits of walking and cycling.
Since then, there has been a renewed urgency around the need to transform the way we live and move around. Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are one of the easiest, quickest and cheapest ways to do this. As a result of the pandemic, the Government has made funding available to introduce Low Traffic Neighbourhoods across the country.
These schemes have already been successfully introduced in many areas of London, Waltham Forest was the first (est. 2015 – one of the three areas now affectionately titled mini-Holland), as well as in Cambridge, Bristol and Manchester.
The proposed changes to our neighbourhood – road closures at the top of Divinity Road and Stone Street to prevent through traffic - will be implemented as trials. Consultation now as well as during the 18-month pilot scheme lies at the heart of this process.
The 2020 resident survey confirmed that 92% of respondents want to turn our streets into an Access Only neighbourhood.
This is our turn to effect real change. We strongly recommend that you read up on the facts surrounding LTN’s – see links below.
At some stage in the coming months, the Council will be surveying your opinions, by the end of which, they need to have committed the funding for the implementation of our road closures.
Information on the Divinity Road Area LTN proposal
DRARA AGM - presentation on the DRARA LTN (October 2020)
DRARA Residents traffic survey results (June 2020)
Information from the County Council regarding implementation of the LTNs (10 December 2020)
What's happening in the wider Oxford area
Bringing liveable streets to Oxford - a presentation by Scott Urban (September 2020)
Oxford Mail article on LTN plans around Oxford (25 November 2020)
A video on LTNs by Oxfordshire Liveable Streets - "Mini Holland: Waltham Forest and Beyond" (June 2020)
Connecting Oxford - the main OCC website for the series of schemes being implemented from 2021-3, to transform travel and air quality in Oxford
Further reading on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
In 2015 41% of Walthamstow Village residents opposed their LTN. In 2016, 1.7% wanted it to be removed.
Low-traffic schemes benefit everyone, not just better-off, finds study (The Guardian, 16 Nov 2020)
Mythbusters: eight common objections to LTNs – and why they are wrong (The Guardian, 16 Nov 2020)
An article about a low traffic neighbourhood approach, widespread in the Netherlands.
- A film about Waltham Forest "Enjoy Waltham Forest" - early adopters of Low Traffic neighbourhoods here in the UK.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
We know there will be questions about how a Low Traffic Neighbourhood will work in practice in our DRARA community. Take a look at our FAQ document here - this is being added to as new questions are submitted.
If you have a question that hasn't yet been answered in the document, please submit it here. Our DRARA traffic team will try to respond as soon as they can.
DRARA TRAFFIC SURVEY - 2019
Oxfordshire County Council carried out a second survey in October 2019 to collect data on the volume of traffic on Divinity Road. The survey showed a 73% increase in traffic volumes compared with 2014, and an astonishing 5,817 motor vehicles travelling on Divinity Road on an average week day.
DRARA TRAFFIC SURVEY - 2014
Oxfordshire County Council working with DRARA carried out a survey in November 2014 to collect data on volume and speed of traffic in Divinity Road, Southfield Road, Hill Top Road and Stone Street. Download the resulting traffic survey data here. The presentation for the comminity meeting that followed the survey can be found here.
We were advised to get this latest traffic survey done before embarking on our other work to raise drivers’ awareness of their inappropriate driving in these roads, namely more visible signage and community Speedwatch operations, in order to get an initial ‘worst case’ picture. However, we do not really have this worst case picture: the positioning of the cameras was still problematic in this latest survey as they have to be fixed to street furniture that is managed by the council and where their view is not obstructed by parked vehicles, which leaves few options. But we do now have data that shows us the number of vehicles travelling in both directions over 24 hours in the roads surveyed over a period of one week, and a record of speeds. A first look at the data shows us that over a third of vehicles were exceeding the speed limit even at the points where the cameras were positioned, which were not necessarily the parts of the road where vehicles travel fastest.