• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

MP Anneliese Dodds responds to ‘absent LTN views’ claim

Byoxfordnewspaper

Oct 12, 2022

AN Oxfordshire MP has responded to claims that she has been ‘quiet’ on the controversial low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs).

Amir Steve Ali, who ran as an independent candidate in May’s Oxford City Council elections, has accused East Oxford MP Anneliese Dodds of being ‘quiet’ regarding her opinion of the bollards.

He said she ‘must declare’ her views and raise the issues of residents and businesses in Parliament.

READ MORE: 'LTNs have transformed our neighbourhood,' say East Oxford residents

In response, Ms Dodds said she will ‘continue to work to reflect residents’ views’ on LTNS, both to the Oxfordshire County Council who introduced the trial in May, and to the Government.

However, she added there ‘is no point’ having councillors if they ‘don't take decisions and the MP has to get involved’.

She said: “I do often raise issues for local residents relating to local authority matters, as I have done in this case, but I cannot dictate to local councils.”

In terms of her views on LTNs, Ms Dodds said she ‘supports [them] in principle’ but has become ‘increasingly concerned’ about the sequencing of their introduction in Oxford and the impact of those who rely on buses.

She said: “I’ve consistently stated that the priority has to be improving bus routes for local residents, as many residents cannot walk or cycle to work or public services, and there must be options available to them.

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“However, I also understand why the different schemes have been implemented at the times they have which is due to the Conservative Government only providing short-term pots of money, rather than properly funding a joined-up plan for Oxford’s transport needs.

“I don’t want to see additional LTNs put in without bus services being improved. I don’t want additional LTNs if it’s in the absence of improved buses.

“Local residents have very polarised views about these measures. What’s clear to me is that we desperately need better buses, and the Cowley Branch Line, because they would provide people with alternatives which many just don’t have at the moment.

“My understanding is that the Conservative Government has threatened to withdraw future funding from authorities that change transport schemes, and they’ve only provided the funding on a very short term basis – none of which helps us get the joined-up plan for Oxford’s transport system that we need.

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“I’ve had discussions with many local businesses who have a range of views about both the LTNs and other transport issues, and I’ll continue to work to reflect these both to the county council and to the government where these relate to national schemes.”

Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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