Oxford: ‘Taskforce’ may challenge traffic filter plans

Oxford hotelier Jeremy Mogford has hit out at Oxfordshire County Council[1] for coming up with an “unwelcome cocktail of restrictions”, which he believes will “irreparably damage the economic and cultural vibrancy of Oxford forever”.

Traffic filters, which are intended to reduce traffic levels in the city, will be trialled on six streets in Oxford once Network Rail’s work to improve Oxford rail station is completed and Botley Road is reopened - expected to be in autumn 2024.

Oxford Mail: Hotelier Jeremy MogfordHotelier Jeremy Mogford (Image: NQ staff)

The filters will be trialled on St Cross Road, Thames Street, Hythe Bridge Street, St Clement’s, Marston Ferry Road and Hollow Way and are part of the county[2] council’s plan for reducing congestion and improving bus journey times.

Mr Mogford, the owner of Old Bank Hotel in High Street and Old Parsonage Hotel in Banbury[3] Road, accused senior county councillors such as Andrew Gant and Duncan Enright of “fostering” the “completely inaccurate notion that our city is so congested it’s impossible to travel from one part to another”.

He said: “We all know Oxford is not gridlocked day and night.

“Oxford does not even have the traditional ‘rush hour’ found elsewhere because most of its offices exited the city long ago for alternative premises on the periphery of the city”.

Oxford Mail: Traffic filters in OxfordTraffic filters in Oxford (Image: Ed Nix)

Mr Mogford has offered the council to lend his help by putting together a taskforce which includes “Oxford citizens, business people, and experts” who will “look at traffic build up hotspots throughout the city” and will “take a common sense approach to trying to improve the flow”.

Mr Mogford told the Oxford Mail his suggestion for a “special taskforce” to be set up came due to his belief that “a simpler, more sensible, low-cost solution to perceived individual traffic build-ups around the city” should be found.

In an attack on the county council's cabinet members, who agreed to the traffic filters trial, Mr Mogford said: “They live many miles outside and are voted in their positions by constituents who do not live in Oxford.

Oxford Mail: Congestion in OxfordCongestion in Oxford (Image: Oxford Mail)

“The fact that one or two of them may have been an undergraduate in Oxford in their late teens and early twenties does not qualify them with the necessary knowledge to legislate 20 to 30 years later.”

Mr Mogford’s intervention comes after Conservative councillor Eddie Reevs told the Oxford Times[4] that business owners and residents were now living in a “climate of fear” and were afraid to challenge the county council.

Oxfordshire County Council has been approached for comment.


  1. ^ Oxfordshire County Council (www.oxfordshire.gov.uk)
  2. ^ county (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Banbury (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
  4. ^ Oxford Times (www.theoxfordtimes.net)