Turns out Oxford residents don't much care for Marxist-style authoritarianism after all.
Oxford City and County Councils have rushed to local media claiming that they are now the 'victims' of abuse after their plans for a Communist-style dystopian city were revealed by Vision News last week.
The Oxford Mail states: both Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council have been forced to release a joint statement after an article published on 'Watts Up With That' went viral. The councils have said staff and councillors have been 'subjected to abuse and the misinformation' has resulted in both councils receiving numerous calls and social media messages from worried residents.
The article goes on to claim "The wholly incorrect information suggested that the traffic filter measures in Oxford would see parts of the city cut off from each other under a ‘climate lockdown’. 'As well as this, it was said residents would have to ask the council for permission to travel from one area of the city to another which, again, is not true.'
“We take the wellbeing of our colleagues seriously and are taking appropriate steps to provide staff and councillors with support. We are working with Thames Valley Police to report the most extreme abuse,” a spokesperson for the authorities said.
The Oxford Mail goes on to reprint the Councillors claims with some FAQs:
Will the Oxford traffic filters be physical barriers?
Oxfordshire County Council, supported by Oxford City Council, is proposing to install traffic filters as a trial on six roads in Oxford. The trial is currently planned to begin in 2024.
The traffic filters are not physical barriers of any kind and will not be physical road closures. They are simply traffic cameras that can read number plates.
If a vehicle passes through the filter at certain times of the day, the camera will read the number plate and (if you do not have an exemption or a residents’ permit) you will receive a fine in the post.
In the original Vision News article there is NO MENTION of 'Physical Barriers'. We correctly referred to them as electronic gates: electronic ,as the are ANPR cameras and Gates because the word GATE was used BY THE COUNCIL themselves about the roadblocks before changing the name to the more friendly 'filters'. Council Lies debunked here: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/22432340.new-bus-gates-oxford-will-like-roadblocks-divide-city-warn-traders/
Buses and taxis will be able to pass through the traffic filters freely at all times, people can walk or cycle through them at all times, and there will be exemptions and permits for blue badge holders, emergency services, health workers and both professional and non-professional care workers. People receiving frequent hospital treatments will also be eligible to drive through the filters.
Pay close attention here: Public Transport, Walking and Cycling are allowed through the 'filters' plus any emergency services: Note that private vehicles are excluded from this list entirely. Sure you can leave your Zone, but only if you walk, cycle or use public transport.
Will Oxford residents be confined to their local area?
The misinformation online has linked the traffic filters to the 15-minute neighbourhoods proposal in the City Council’s Local Plan 2040, suggesting that the traffic filters will be used to confine people to their local area. This is not true. The 15-minute neighbourhoods proposal aims to ensure that every resident has all the essentials (shops, healthcare, parks) within a 15-minute walk of their home. They aim to support and add services, not restrict them.
Oh dear, they clearly haven't done their homework: Duncan Enright, Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for travel and development strategy, stated to the Sunday Times as recently as last month: the filters would turn Oxford into "a 15-minute city" with local services within a small walking radius. Mr Enright said: "It is about making sure you have the community centre which has all of those essential needs, the bottle of milk, pharmacy, GP, schools which you need to have a 15-minute neighbourhood."
Will Oxfordshire residents need permission from the councils to travel across the city?
Everyone can go through all the filters at any time by bus, bike, taxi, scooter or walking. Furthermore, residents will still be able to drive to every part of the city at any time – but in the future, during certain times of the day, you may need to take a different route (e.g. using the ring road) if you want to travel by car. There will also be exemptions to the fines for carers, blue badge holders, businesses, and emergency services. Oxford residents (and residents of some surrounding villages) will be able to apply for a permit to drive through the filters on up to 100 days a year. Residents living in the rest of Oxfordshire will be able to apply for a permit to drive through the filter on up to 25 days a year.
Now we are delving into Orwellian doublespeak. In the scheme every oxford resident who owns and drives a car will require a permit to cross into a neighbouring zone. The permits will allow the driver to do this a maximum of one hundred times per year. and each one of those trips will be recorded by ANPR cameras on each one of the 'filters'. the word 'permit' denotes that permission is needed.
Have Oxford’s councils tried to secretly introduce the traffic filters?
The concept of traffic filters was first introduced in 2015 in the Oxford Transport Strategy.
The proposals for traffic filters were first consulted on in 2019 and then updated in February 2022. Following this update, several months of engagement work was carried out with stakeholders across the city to inform further updated proposals which were announced in August 2022. A large number of changes were made to the scheme as a result of the consultation, including the introduction of 100 day passes for each resident, and reductions in the hours of operation of some of the filters.
Again the council are deliberately misquoting the Vision News article. The actual sentence states "Oxfordshire County Council, which is run by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, secretly decided to divide-up the city of Oxford into six ‘15 minute’ districts" . Deliberately misquoting in an attempt to debunk the actual text has failed nevertheless. The filters they talk about in 2015 were bus filters where buses and regular traffic merged at the end of bus lanes. Nothing to do with the 15 minute city plan. Whilst the installation of the first LTN was installed in the middle of the night, during lockdown the with the story repeatedly changing for the roadblock.
The lies revealed:
Is Duncan Enright denying that he'd stated to the Sunday Times as recently as last month: the filters would turn Oxford into "a 15-minute city"?
Is Duncan Enright also denying that he referred to the filters as 'Roadblocks' in the same article, or that he stated that they "will go ahead whether residents like it or not."?
*You see Duncan, the thing about trying to gaslight the public is that everything you have ever said is recorded on the internet. You can deny all you like, you can try gaslighting the public but alas what you've said is a matter of public record.
Sky News Australia Reviews Vision News' Report