Quarry LTN Design Survey

Looking for the main residents’ survey? See the post below!

The Headington Councillors have surveyed over a thousand households and received over 300 responses about the County’s proposed Low-Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) scheme for Headington Quarry. Surveying for Headington Ward is now beginning and similar detailed work there will follow soon.

We received many suggestions to vary the County’s current design proposals. In this survey we want to find out which of these variations are most popular. Note this is the Headington Lib Dems trying to get an initial impression of people’s views, not the County Council’s formal consultation process, which is currently expected to happen later this year.

Please view the information and maps below, then complete the survey here.

In this survey we compare a few variations, with details and maps shown below: the baseline (do nothing), the County’s current plan, the current plan without Gladstone/Pitts or without Wharton/St Leonard’s, the Quarry Hollow bollard alone, and a partial Quarry Hollow control that only prevents through traffic on Margaret Road and Quarry Hollow, leaving Quarry Road unaffected. We also ask about an alternative to any bollards in the Quarry itself: closing the Quarry ring-road junction.

In all the maps below, a red spot represents a lockable bollard that can be passed by bikes, wheelchairs and anything else of similar size, but not cars and larger vehicles. The red line at the top of Margaret Road represents a partial block at the Quarry Hollow / Quarry Road junction, which is pictured in detail below to clearly show that it splits the crossroads into two through roads:


All of the LTN designs below are trying to achieve four main aims:

  1. Establish a “quietway” (a back-road cycle route) through Beaumont Road -> Quarry Hollow -> Margaret Road by discouraging through motor traffic.
  2. Discourage unnecessary short car trips (by residents and others) where there are other options available, by reserving the fastest through routes for pedestrians and cyclists.
  3. Discourage non-residents from using the Quarry as a short-cut, making residential back roads safer and quieter.
  4. When a car trip is necessary, avoid lengthening that journey too much.

The options presented below represent different compromises between those goals.

Option 0: Do Nothing

Self-explanatory I hope! With this option nothing at all would change.

Option 1: County’s current plan (5 bollards total)

The County’s current plan for the Quarry LTN, pictured below, features 5 bollards (unlockable to allow emergency access): a main bollard at the Quarry Hollow / High Street junction preventing through car traffic between the by-pass and Windmill Road, two on Wharton and St Leonard’s Roads intended to prevent corner-cutting between London and Windmill Roads, and two on Gladstone and Pitts Roads which would require traffic from London Road to Quarry High Street to zigzag between Gladstone and Pitts Roads (aimed at discouraging using Gladstone as a cut around the A40 roundabout).

Advantages: almost all possible short-cuts through the quarry are prevented; provides the biggest incentive to avoid car travel where possible; establishes a quiet cycle route (a “quietway”) down Quarry Hollow and Margaret Road. Disadvantage: for residents making car journeys, lengthens those journeys more than other options.

Option 2: Current plan without Gladstone/Pitts controls (3 bollards total)

This is like Option 1, but without the two bollards on Gladstone and Pitts Roads. Advantages: most possible short-cuts through the quarry are still prevented; provides a significant incentive to avoid car travel; less new traffic for New Cross and Pitts Road residents than Option 1. Disadvantages: with Gladstone Road unimpeded, there is a risk that traffic leaving the by-pass at the Quarry junction might use it to get to London Road avoiding the A40 roundabout.

Option 3: Current plan without Wharton / St Leonard’s controls (3 bollards total)

This is like Option 1 without the Wharton and St Leonard’s Road bollards. Advantages: still prevents cutting from the Quarry ring-road junction to Windmill Road; less journey lengthening for some residents than Option 1. Disadvantages: as Option 1, but gives a weaker incentive to avoid car travel, and this version does nothing to address corner-cutting between London and Windmill Roads.

Option 4: Quarry Hollow / High Street bollard only

This is like options 2 and 3 combined.

Option 5: Partial Quarry Hollow / High Street control

This is like Option 4, but instead of preventing all flow from Quarry High Street to Quarry Road, only Quarry Hollow and Margaret Road are blocked to car traffic. Advantages: still establishes a quiet cycle route through Quarry Hollow and Margaret Road; provides some disincentive to cut through from the Quarry by-pass junction to Windmill Road as this would require a more indirect route than at present. Disadvantages: as Option 4, but with a still weaker incentive against car travel; at busy times cutting through the quarry would still be quite likely.

Option 6: Close the Quarry by-pass junction

As an alternative to any bollards in the Quarry, simply close the bypass junction at the top of Beaumont Road. Advantages: prevents any cut-through traffic relating to the by-pass; avoids any journey lengthening related to non-bypass destinations. Disadvantages: provides no incentive against car travel for non-bypass destinations; as with options 3, 4 and 5 corner-cutting between London and Windmill roads is unaddressed.

Map Copyright

The base map used to illustrate the LTN possibilities in this article are taken from OpenStreetMap. The base map is copyright © OpenStreetMap contributors.

29 thoughts on “Quarry LTN Design Survey

  1. Peter John Smith says:

    option 6 is the best as it causes maximum effect with stopping the traffic through the area with the least disruption to local residents

    • V Kelly says:

      It will simply create more traffic and total frustration in other places
      It’s not rocket science
      Haven’t the so called politicians ( looney left) got better things to spend our hard earned course cul tax on
      It’s a disgrace!
      It’s fine we had some sensible Conservative brains in the City.
      I’ve lived in Oxford for 77 years and I’m ashamed of this City compared with how it used to be. It’s dirty and unkempt.
      Now – ridiculous road restrictions.

  2. Jonathan Ross says:

    Blocking access to Stile road from Windmill road, by blocking st Leonards road will cause more congestion at the Windmill/London road traffic lights. More cars turning right. A filter would need to be added to the lights to make this less dangerous. A dangerous right turn, I have seen many near misses at this junction. Cutting traffic from the ring road through Quarry would be an improvement. Blocking st Leonards road would not!!

  3. Nancy Cartwright says:

    Option 5.

    Traffic on Beaumont rd was nicely discouraged by that car parked on wrong side of road. So a small slolam would do the job. Much cheaper and much less inconvenience to resident whilst getting us just what we need—less traffic and slower

    • Tracy Howell says:

      Good idea. Seems that slowing traffic down all through Quarry would discourage cut through traffic. What about extra speed restrictions ( with cameras) during school drop off and pick up times. It all helps discourage speedy cut through drivers.
      We live on Old Rd Shotover Hill and closing Quarry would mean an extra mile journey for us just to get to the Headington roundabout by car. That can’t make sense. How many residents on Shotover? 100?

  4. Denis and Janet says:

    Option 1 seems the best to stop the rat run through quarry road and the side streets.

  5. Anna Rowden says:

    I am lost for words !
    I have lived in Quarry for 30 years, and as a car driver I find these ‘suggestions’ outrageous, I have never encountered problems getting around, in or out of my streets, unlike trying to use the London Rd in either direction.
    I understand the partial closures by schools and am in favour of them, but for those of us who need to use a car for work, shopping or family transport these blockages will be horrendous, as is trying to use roads in Cowley.
    How will the ring road and London Roads cope with the extra load ?
    Please let common sense prevail, the roads have been built for a purpose.

  6. James says:

    The Headington councillors have never asked me, or any of the fifty or so residents who live in Douglas Veale House in Headington Quarry.
    We shall vote accordingly in the future.

  7. James says:

    Never seen a local councillor, no idea who they are. I’ve lived here 12 years and in that time, not ONE has knocked my door.

  8. Suzy Cox says:

    All you’re doing is shoving more traffic onto windmill Rd and London Rd. You will make travelling more difficult for those of us who need to use our cars to get in and out of Headington. You will make it difficult for emergency services and trades people to access properties.
    A complete waste of public money. Please spend it on something important, not this nonsense.

  9. Jeff McIlhinney says:

    For 15 years Friends of Quarry have been arguing that traffic flows through Quarry need to be reduced and have proposed plans to achieve this end. When the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods were proposed we consulted with our councillors to find a solution which caused the least inconvenience to the residents of Quarry. Option 4 was the solution we put to our members and 57% were in support. Since that time the other more complex proposals have been advanced and have generated considerable resistance. I should point out that I understtod the bollard on Pitts Road was supposed to be just after the entrance to the garage and not as indicated in Option 3 close to the corner of Pitts Road and New Cross Road. Option 5 is simply unacceptable as it will drive the current traffic from Quarry Hollow to Quarry High Street and it prevents access to Margaret Road and Quarry Road which was complained about with Option 4. I would also like to emphasize the need to reduce traffic in Quarry High Street as this is narrow as are the pavements. Your survey appears to focus on Quarry Hollow rather than Quarry in general.

    I have no comment on the proposals for Wharton Road and St Leonards
    but note that the option of closing the access from the ring road has been suggested before and has been often suggested in discussions on traffic reduction in Quarry.

  10. Ken Weavers says:

    Pros and cons of Option 0 (No Change) have been omitted. Here are some:
    Advantages of Option 0:
    1. It will prevent traffic using main roads excessively, and making traffic jams worse than they already are, as any LTN will divert traffic there.
    2. It will actually decrease car usage overall, since an LTN will cause drivers to use roundabout and longer routes to reach their destinations.
    3. Less pollution on main roads due to less traffic (see 1 above).
    4. No delays for emergency vehicles as they negotiate LTN barriers (thus potentially saving lives).
    5. Disabled and elderly car/taxi users will not be considerably inconvenienced in their travels.
    6. Disruptions to all our lives will be avoided.
    Disadvantages of Option 0:
    1. Some houses will not get their expected quietness through lack of traffic after all – but houses on main roads will be saved this extra traffic.

    I would say some of the objectives of LTNs are spurious, for example “quietways” already exist, and cyclists will always have to beware of motorised vehicles. As for these “short car trips”, I think their volume has been exaggerated, and their prevention would only be achieved if a barrier lay between the start and end, so I do not think much would change.

  11. Philip Brady says:

    Things should be left as they are! I do not support any of the proposals for change. There is no major traffic problem in Quarry. If it’s not broken – don’t fix it. The proposals feel like a mixture of inconvenience, restriction and imprisonment for Quarry residents. This feels like politicians (none of whom live in Quarry) claiming to know what is best for local residents. The proposals will simply result in traffic displacement onto already busy roads e.g. London Rd, Windmill Rd, Hollow Way. Are you consulting with families on those roads how they feel about the extra noise and gas pollution your proposals will create? The intelligent way to reduce traffic would be to provide an alternative system to the private car. For example, expand the Park & Ride service to appropriate destinations such as the hospitals. Make it frequent and free. Otherwise, LTN proposals are simply tinkering around the edges….wasting public money and winding up local residents at the same time.

  12. Sam Jackson says:

    I am not a supporter as this does not address the overall traffic problem in Oxford and it is not underpinned by affordable public transport or secure bike parking as I have experienced in other cities. However in terms of options presented if an LTN is introduced in order of preference:

    Option 4
    Option 2
    Option 6

    Option 5 would be a disaster for QHS as this would funnel all the traffic down this road making it far worse than the current position.

  13. Theodosios Kyriakou says:

    There is no doubt that applying pressure through restrictions to one area will simply move the existing traffic burden to another area in Headington Quarry. York Road, Quarry road, London road and Windmill road will be adversely affected in every single plan other than Plan 0. As cyclists we have found quiet roads to make our way through the Quarry area. Increased traffic in Windmill road will make the recent cycle lane interventions even more worthless.

  14. Heather Titcombe says:

    I am happy as things are, as both a cyclist and car driver. There is peak activity during rush hour and school runs etc., but otherwise these roads are acceptable for travel. The key is to stick to 20 mph speed in urban areas . The problem with all the re routing is that congests other areas. Also, as someone who lives in this area, it reduces options for travel from home. I also agree with other feedback re moving the traffic to Windmill road and London road .
    Could I also ask, has there been an assessment of actual traffic/ incidents etc., in the area and scenario planning re each option and cause and effect.

  15. Martin says:

    Option 1. It would be nice to not have to worry about rat running traffic when takings kids to school or nursery. This plan will encourage cycling and other forms of transport.

  16. Brian Reynolds says:

    I’m all in favour of the St Leonards Road filter. Lots of cars speeding down that road to avoid the London Road lights.

  17. Russ says:

    What are you trying to fix. The problem of traffic cutting through from the dual carriageway. Then add anpr cameras near the six bells junction and anybody cutting through gets a £60 fine. ????
    This would allow all local traffic to move freely.
    All other options have been dreamt up by someone who has never busted this area.
    And are personally crazy.
    Everything else just pushes the traffic to london which can not cope and the road is falling apart.

  18. Anas says:

    I ve been here for a year and I didn’t feel any problem with the current situation , I’ve not been encountered in any traffic congestion in quarry at any time of the day so I will say option 0 is the best one.
    With the current situation I feel I’m free and we have a lot of options going and coming home at any time and this a beneficial thing for us as local residents , otherwise we our self will face problems avoiding congestion in London road to go in and out.

  19. Caroline Henney says:

    LTN plans just shift congestion onto other areas where other people live. It’s flawed to keep closing certain roads whilst actively encouraging the traffic which might have used them onto other roads thereby making these roads more busy. It seems it’s ok to keep adding more traffic to the arterial routes causing potential congestion and particulate pollution there and not caring about the residents whose homes are by those roads! If we are going to evolve as a society who don’t need to rely on cars we need really credible alternatives not just crazy plans that deal with little bits of the problem for one group whilst shifting it elsewhere.

  20. Richard Pain says:

    I am Strongly opposed to these measures. As a tradesman I rely on access to all areas of Oxford when serving my customer base which I have built up over the last 32 years. I need a vehicle to carry my tools equipment and materials and can not do this on a bicycle. These measures will make people like my self having to make longer journeys and sit in more congested routes ie: windmill and London Roads. Which are already rammed at peak times. Thus engines running for longer causing more pollution and unnecessarily using more fuel. These schemes seem to be designed and supported by people that can commute on bicycles and public transport that don’t need to carry anything with them in order to earn a living. In these times of other services constantly being cut surely £1000’s of Our Council Tax could be put to better use.!

  21. John Hopewell says:

    The most important thing is to avoid causing any additional inconvenience to the local community who need to use cars/other vehicles for work on a daily basis. At the moment there is myth to hide behind the need to reduce short car journeys and create safe cycle routes. The narrow Quarry Hollow is currently used as a short cut so to block access to Quarry Hollow, part of Option 5 would work. Blocking at the other end (option 6) would also prevent access to Green and Trinity Road residents except via a now more congested Green Road roundabout and London Road, a major inconvenience for local residents.

  22. Fiona McFarlane says:

    I strongly oppose option 5 which will cause major problems on the narrow QHS where narrow pavements already make things difficult for pedestrians.

    my preferences in order would be
    0- i have not encountered any major problems as a resident that need resolving.
    4- I can see this may make margaret road quieter for school journeys
    6 –

  23. Eddie Steel says:

    Local community still need to use their cars, especially those people with kids or caring for people with mobility issues. Not sure why we need to penalise locals by railing them into newly created bottlenecks by blocking roads due to ‘rat run’ traffic. There are all manner of tech solutions available that provide for ‘smart’ solutions. If we really think rat run traffic is an issue, can we please be a bit more bold and imagianitive and aim for a smart tech solution rather than such an outdated blunt instrument of road blocks.

    Any elected member or civil servant saying tech solutions are ‘too hard’ need to show some more ambition and work harder on it.

    We generally need to rely on technological advances to give us a shot at mitigating the climate crisis, so I’m not sure why we can’t leverage such advances on something like road traffic management.

  24. Rebecca says:

    As someone who has small children and lives on one of the main roads to which traffic will be pushed by most of these changes I am very concerned about the additional pollution and congestion outside my house that will be caused by these LTNs. I strongly oppose these changes. The elderly, disabled and those with small children will still need access to vehicles and as a family we have commuted out of Oxford on a regular basis and need access to the back streets to do so to avoid the school run traffic which clogs up Headington already at peak times.

    Please abandon these proposed changes. After the challenges of the last 18 months with Covid the last thing we need is to cause hard working local families trying to get back on their feet additional stress. Around the country these LTNs are hated for the damage they are doing to local businesses and the frustration and congestion they are causing.

  25. Grace Townshend says:

    I vote for Option 0. I am totally opposed to most of the other options for the reasons cited by multiple others. These measures will increase pollution and time taken for essential journeys, disadvantage merchants and tradesmen, and provide nice quiet roads for a few at the expense of the many. Regarding Option 6, why not close the junction with the ring road only for traffic ENTERING Quarry? That’s where most of the rat running occurs (not for traffic leaving as it can’t turn right out of Quarry). That will inconvenience those of us who live here, but not to anything like the extent of all the other proposals.

  26. Amanda says:

    Option 1 please. Trying to encourage people to cycle or walk makes our streets much nicer. We need to change to live in a new cleaner world. Cars should not have priority over all streets. New housing areas are all built with low traffic neighbourhoods as that is what people prefer.
    As a resident I am happy to travel slightly longer but please look at giving cars on these main roads more right if way then the side streets. For example keep the lights green longer when traffic is trying to get down London Road in the evening.

  27. Peter Krajanek says:

    Ad LTNs – As a Heagington resident for over 5 years I can’t believe the party I voted for in the last two local elections is actively supporting and promoting something soooo purely anti-liberal.  Do you really think the best way to solve the problems (real or virtual) is putting in place more bollards, roadblocks, bans, restrictions and closures? LTN is just another form of collective punishment imposed onto the whole community instead of chasing the true offenders or tackling real causes of problems. Ultimately it’s going to hit even those few who are supposed to benefit from LTNs. Forcing traffic out of some streets inevitably means it will get worse elsewhere and those who live there are not going to welcome that as a gesture of friendly neighbours. Do we really want to make Oxford an union of separately barricaded neighbourhoods? Where is the big picture? Reading the OCC’s plans – “Reducing vehicle movements into and around the city” together with “Travelling less and or using sustainable modes” sounds good as modern trendy slogans, but it may also have significant side effects into the economy or local services.  There are lots of people who are dependent on services like domiciliary care in their homes, delivery of groceries or medication, local contractors travelling around the city and many others who rely on healthy traffic flow and an accessible road system. Also (un)employment rate is closely connected to general mobility to a very large extent. Putting more and more obstacles (humps, bollards, blockages) into natural traffic flow looks simple and efficient, but it’s not a clever way in the long run.  There are more smart solutions needed.  Besides “reducing movements into” there is a vital need of “allowing traffic to get out” especially during peak times.  Outdated traffic system in Oxford based mainly on restrictions causes huge congestions, more pollution from queuing vehicles, millions of hours of lost work or delayed services to the citizens and damaged businesses.  (i.e. Walton Street closure or neverending troubles with Botley road – “mother of all congestions” – result of previous planning mistakes, missing alternative bypass leading westwards to relief city centre – even just some one way single track road that would “spit off” excessive traffic to the ring road, smart signals etc.) I am not really sure if problems caused by previously massively installed roadblocks and widespread cul-de-sac areas can be easily sorted by adding even more obstacles in the way. Cowley area “uprising” and deep community division over LTNs are typical symptoms of just that. Where is this fashion trend going to end up? Roadblocks all around Oxford with just one way in and out? Do Lib-dems want to follow up on this “heritage” of Conservative and Labour led councils? 

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