Low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) chiefs are acting like “dictators”, Florence Pugh’s father Clinton has said after he was forced to shut a café. The Telegraph has the story.
Clinton Pugh, who owns three food outlets in Cowley Road, has been a vocal critic of the East Oxford LTN which was introduced as a trial in May last year by Oxfordshire County Council.
His attack on the “really stupid” scheme comes after Rishi Sunak promised drivers that he is “on their side” as he ordered a review of controversial anti-car schemes being rolled out across Britain.
The Prime Minister has told the Department for Transport to probe LTNs, which often use cameras, giant planters and bollards to turn away cars, as the Telegraph revealed.
In Oxford, council chiefs have closed off a patchwork of residential roads surrounding Mr. Pugh’s businesses to vehicles in an attempt to prioritise cyclists and pedestrians, meaning drivers must take a lengthy detour onto busy neighbouring roads to reach him.
Now, Mr. Pugh, whose daughter is currently starring in the blockbuster film Oppenheimer, has lashed out at Oxfordshire County Council chiefs after claiming he was forced to shut Café Tarifa, one of his eateries beloved by locals.
“The losses have been so high that I have lost a site,” he told Sky News, questioning why the council did not roll out the LTN more “sympathetically” by closing every third road.
“Why do it all at once? It’s just not thought through properly, it’s really stupid,” he said.
“They are acting like they are dictators. This is the problem. It’s their idea. They’ve asked us for our opinion and they are not listening.”
Mr. Pugh, whose restaurants have populated Oxford for 31 years, added: “It has become more difficult to get here, people just don’t come.
“You can’t get staff, they can’t get home or they have to have taxis. The cost of these things is just astronomical and people don’t want to work.
“Tradesmen can’t come because it takes too long to get here.”