Some people online have claimed that, in 15-minute cities, leaving home or driving in general will only be possible with express permission from local authorities. But there is no evidence to support this.

Local authorities have been at pains to make clear that residents will be able to travel freely throughout their city by walking, cycling, or taking public transport, and the policies instead seek to reduce reliance on driving for basic needs.

Stephen Edwards, chief executive of Living Streets, a charity aiming to achieve a better walking environment for everyone, told the Big Issue: “Creating safe, accessible and well-connected places will enable more of us to choose to walk or wheel our everyday journeys – helping to boost health, support local businesses and connect us to our local communities.”

Oxford City Council’s statement also said no resident would need “permission” to travel across the city: “Under the traffic filters, residents will still be able to drive to every part of the city at any time – but in the future, at the times when the filters are operating, you may need to take a different route (e.g. using the ring road) if you want to travel by car.”

Exemptions to fines would be provided to “carers, blue badge holders, businesses, and emergency services”.

Under the trial, only six roads in Oxford are proposed to have traffic filters while many other roads will continue to be accessible to drivers at any time of the day throughout the year – those who wish to drive elsewhere for their daily shop or to visit a friend will be able to.

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