Misinformation, Threats Follow Oxford’s ‘Traffic Filtering’ Plan

A plan to limit the number of automobiles in Oxford and Oxfordshire has provoked a very contemporary form of resistance—online misinformation and threats.

1 minute read

December 28, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Streets and buildings in historic Oxford, England.

Sergii Figurnyi / Shutterstock

Elected officials and staff in Oxford and Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom are suffering the consequences of proposing a “traffic filtering” plan, intended to create safer places to walk and prioritize non-automotive forms of transportation.

The traffic filtering plan is intended to help the city and county, respectively, as part of the Local Plan 2040, which sets goals to become a 15-minute city.

Viral online misinformation has claimed that the traffic filtering plan “would see parts of the city cut off from each other under a ‘climate lockdown’ and that residents would have to ask the council for permission to travel from one area of the city to another,” according to an article by Christopher Carey.

“The trial scheme, set to be introduced in 2024, will see motorists fined £75 (US$91.85) if they pass through a filter at certain times of the day,” explains Carey. “Residents of the affected areas can apply for permits allowing them to pass through the filters up to 100 days a year, and there will be exemptions for buses, taxis, Blue Badge holders, emergency services, health workers and people receiving frequent hospital treatments.”

More details on the plan and the resulting misinformation can be found at the link below.

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