Anti-LTN Sign 'illegal' and Must Be Taken Down Says Council it Criticised
Such an advertisement requires planning consent from the local authority.
Restaurateur Clinton Pugh, father of actress Florence Pugh, has been threatened with a £2,500 ($3,000) fine for putting up a sign opposing the Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme that has destroyed his businesses in Oxford, England.
Clinton Pugh is the owner of three, previously successful, restaurants in Oxford, but reports that since the council implemented the Low Traffic Neighborhood (LTNs) policy his businesses have suffered so much he now faces closure.
In November of 2022 Pugh began campaigning against the LTNs that were destroying his business and erected a sign on the wall of his cafe, were previous signs had always stood, calling out the Council's plans.
The sign reads:
'Welcome to Cowley Road. Oxford’s most diverse and unique road, home to the largest group of independent businesses in the country.
It is here that Oxfordshire County Council decided to roll out their ill thought out traffic experiment, undemocratically installing LTNs (road closures) and removing car parking in May 2022.
Surprise Surprise: In a survey 95% of Cowley Road businesses said that footfall and turnover had dropped significantly since the LTNs were installed. They cannot survive without customers coming from other parts of the city and country.
Next to come, the final nail in the coffin; bus gates and the complete segregation of Oxford, dividing Oxford into six zones with total reliance on the ring road to get from A to B.
The County Council is pretending to listen, but this is shamefully a complete and utter lie.'
The sign also names the councillor behind the plan, Duncan Enright, and quotes him saying "the scheme will go ahead, definitely" before the 'consultation' had been concluded.
After the sign went up, the Council threatened Pugh with a £2,500 fine, claiming that the sign was 'illegal' and that Pugh did not get consent from them to put it up. Pugh had until the 10th of February to remove it before the council issued the fine.
However, instead of removing it, he added a new banner over the top, with the words “1984,” “Censored” and “So much for democracy.”
Pugh stated: “I do see that climate change is having an effect. But they’re destroying people’s livelihoods and need to re-look at it,” he said to the Daily Mail.
Oxford City Council said: “Following a complaint from a member of the public, Oxford City Council wrote to Mr Pugh, of Café Coco, on 13 January this year about the unauthorized advertisement that is displayed on the building."
“Such an advertisement requires planning consent from the local authority. No consent has been sought for any advertisements on the side of this building. Nor does the advertisement qualify for deemed consent, a condition that applies to certain types of advertisement that do not require consent from the council."
“The city council has advised the owner that he was in breach of planning controls.”