ROAD blocks stopping most motorists from driving through Oxford city centre will divide the city into six "15-minute" neighbourhoods, a county council travel chief has said.

And he insisted the controversial plan would go ahead whether people liked it or not.

Duncan Enright, Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for travel and development strategy, explained the authority's traffic filter proposals in an interview in The Sunday Times.

He said 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."

The aim is to reduce traffic in the city centre and make city living more pleasant, but critics say the plans will negatively affect businesses and the city centre's economy.

A decision will be made on November 29, and is the date for the cabinet decision. following a consultation which closed earlier this month.

But Mr Enright told the Sunday Times: "It's going to happen definitely."

The new traffic filters on St Cross Road, Thames Street, Hythe Bridge Street and St Clements would operate seven days a week from 7am to 7pm.

Two more filters on Marston Ferry Road and Hollow Way would operate from Monday to Saturday.

People can drive freely around their own neighbourhood and can apply for a permit to drive through the filters, and into other neighbourhoods, for up to 100 days per year. This equates to an average of two days per week.

The alternative is to drive out on to the ring road and then back in to the destination.

A maximum of three permits a household will be allowed where there are several adults with cars registered to the address.

Buses, coaches, taxis, delivery vans, HGVs, motorbikes and bikes are exempt and there are exceptions for blue badge holders and people with caring responsibilities.

Hotelier Jeremy Mogford, who owns the Old Bank Hotel in High Street and the Old Parsonage Hotel and Gees, both in Banbury Road, described the plan as disastrous for business.

He previously told the Oxford Mail: "What we have is people making decisions that don’t live in the city centre or spend much time in the city.

"We’re being dictated to by councillors who don’t live here.

“There’s a lot of scepticism that consultations are a token gesture – the last time round, the majority were against the bus gates and it was postponed until now.”

He told the Sunday Times he had just received his first item of hate mail, a postcard saying: "Oxford has been very good for you. Why do you hate Oxford so much?"