According to a publication in social networks, Oxfordshire County Council plans a “climate lockdown” this year to save the planet from the dangers caused by climate changes. It is claimed that the Oxfordshire County Council adopted a plan which envisions locking down the population in six zones. The author of the publication says that they divided the city into six zones, installed an electronic gate and called it the 15 Minute City Project.

The information in the publication is provided in a way that these measures are aimed at locking down people and controlling them which is not true.

Oxfordshire Country local authorities discussed a new traffic regulation system. The new plan is aimed at reducing the number of traffic jams in Oxford. According to the plan, six cameras (the so-called traffic filters) will be installed at major roads in Oxford, intending to make bus journeys faster and walking and cycling safer (see the plan which shows the location of traffic filters in Oxford). Traffic filters are, in fact, cameras recognising vehicle license plates and are not physical barriers. Drivers of private vehicles who drive on particular sections of the road from 7 am to 7 pm without a permit will be automatically fined. In regard to drivers living in or adjacent to Oxford, they will be eligible for 100-day passes per year to traverse those particular sections. This restriction will not be applied to other means of transport such as buses, taxis, mopeds, motorcycles and trucks.

The county government, in an interview with the Associated Press, stated that the aforementioned initiative is intended to regulate traffic and does not aim to lockdown or block access to any part of Oxfordshire County. Paul Smith, spokesperson for the Oxfordshire County Council, stated: “Everywhere in the city will still be accessible by car. Nobody will need permission from the country council to drive or leave their home.” Mr Smith also added: “Drivers who lack a permit will also still be able to access all of the city without being fined but they might just need to use a different route or drive through the ring road to avoid the traffic filters.” It is precisely the aim of the initiative to reduce traffic on overloaded streets of the city and encourage walking/cycling.

In regard to the 15-Minute City Project mentioned in the publication, it has nothing to do with the initiative of traffic filters. The 15-Minute City Project is an independent plan which if implemented envisions that city residents will ideally be able to access important service centres by walking or cycling in 15 minutes. Facebook users erroneously linked these two projects together and drew the wrong conclusion that traffic filters will ban people from leaving their neighbourhoods.


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