Image Credit: N Chadwick

ANPR cameras installed but not yet activated at Oxford LTNs

Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras in six low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in Oxford have been installed, but not yet activated.

In March, Oxfordshire County Council announced the decision to replace traffic-calming bollards with ANPR cameras, but there was a delay in putting up the warning signs for motorists.

The council then announced the cameras would be switched on in the middle of May, after previously saying that it would be “from the week beginning 29 April”.

The council announced on the website that “the cameras have been successfully installed and we are now ensuring the signage is complete before we go live”.

ANPR cameras are said to be only triggered by vehicles passing through restricted areas and record the license plate details of those vehicles. 

The new cameras record the license plates of vehicles travelling through restricted areas. Penalty charges will be sent to those who are found to be doing so.

Private hire vehicles and taxis, alongside emergency, waste and postal service vehicles and buses at the Littlemore Road closure point are exempt from the restrictions. The cameras will operate continuously but in case of an emergency, they can be turned off to enable traffic diversions.

LTNs were set up to prevent vehicles taking shortcuts through residential areas, making them safer for walking and cycling. However, they have been subject to much criticism since their introduction in 2022, met with protests, and many bollards have been run over, burned, or stolen

Bill Cotton, Oxfordshire County Council’s corporate director for environment and place, said: “The decision to replace six closure points with ANPR cameras follows public consultations and close engagement with the emergency services.

“ANPR cameras will allow emergency service and other essential vehicles to travel through these six points.”

Liam Walker, shadow cabinet member for transport management, had called the cameras “dystopian”.

He said: “These cameras are just another dystopian way for the anti-motorist coalition at the county council to hammer motorists with more fines and control where people can and cannot go.

Divinity Road, James Street, and Magdalen Road are LTNs in East Oxford, alongside Crescent Road, Littlehay Road, and Littlemore Road in Cowley.

Image Credit: N Chadwick

Image Description: Oxford streets