Florence Pugh's father blasts low traffic neighbourhood scheme again

Florence Pugh’s father blasts council’s low traffic neighbourhood scheme as his Oxford bar is re-possessed

  • Clinton Pugh, 64, is selling a number of his establishments because of the LTN
  • Read more: Residents declare victory in battle against South London LTNs 

The father of Hollywood star Florence Pugh has claimed his bar has been re-possessed as he launches his latest attack on Oxford’s Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme.

Clinton Pugh, who owns a string of bars and restaurants all on bohemian Cowley Road, said his joint Café Tarifa has been re-possessed – and blames it on the East Oxford LTN which was introduced in May 2022.

He said staff refused to work on Cowley Road as it now takes four times as long to get to work and the street has lost 195 car parking spaces to make way for cycle lanes.

Before it was re-possessed, Mr Pugh, 64, said he was in the process of selling the lease and received an offer of £100,000 but the LTN is off-putting for both staff and customers.

His daughter Florence, 27, starred in Little Women, Black Widow and Don’t Worry Darling alongside Harry Styles – and has helped him out financially to keep the popular eateries afloat.   

Clinton Pugh (left), father of Hollywood star Florence Pugh (right), has claimed his bar has been re-possessed as he launches his latest attack on Oxford’s LTN scheme

Pictured is Mr Pugh’s Café CoCo, which he is trying to sell due to the east Oxford LTN

Mr Pugh is also trying to sell neighbouring Café CoCo, on the same road, and has another bar, Kazbar.

Another shop he owned the lease for, ‘Indigo Natural Living’, opened in 2008 but was forced to closed in July 2022.

Mr Pugh has been a vocal critic of Oxfords LTNs – where bollards and planters are used on residential streets to stop ‘rat-runs’ for cars – and in March this year he said they have sparked a drastic decline in footfall for each of his three establishments.

These include Café CoCo, where actor Florence, and her siblings including actor and musician Toby Sebastian, used to serve customers when growing up.

Mr Pugh said: ‘The LTNs are responsible for staffing issues, as staff refuse to work on Cowley Road as they find it extremely difficult to get to and from work.

‘My employees tell me that all journeys are taking around four times as long.

‘The county council has closed roads without thinking it through and they have not bothered to help businesses.

‘I was hoping to sell my business before the pandemic, and the council has made it very difficult.’

Pictured is Hollywood star Florence Pugh eating at Café Coco, her father’s establishment that is now on the market

Pictured are Scarlett Johansson (left) and Florence Pugh (right) in Marvel’s Black Widow

READ MORE: Is this the beginning of the end for LTNs? Now Sadiq Khan admits low-traffic neighbourhoods ‘aren’t perfect’ and some may need REMOVING in London 

He said he was trying to sell Café Coco but promised to continue ‘fighting for the other small businesses owners’.

Mr Pugh has said a lack of support from the county council means he was forced to put Café Coco back on the market.

An Oxfordshire County Council said: ‘LTNs are part of the county council’s local transport and connectivity plan, designed to improve travel and transport.

‘They are intended to make residential streets safer and more comfortable for walking, wheeling, and cycling.

‘As part of the central Oxfordshire travel plan, they are designed to work together with other measures to reduce congestion and improve air quality.

‘The LTNs already in Oxford will continue to be monitored by the council.

‘The East Oxford LTNs area is still in a trial period, and subject to a county cabinet decision later this year.

‘Although the online consultation on the East Oxford LTNs has now closed we encourage people to continue sharing their feedback with us.

‘This feedback will contribute to the reporting that will be presented to cabinet for decision.

‘We currently have no plans to introduce any more LTNs areas in Oxford but we continue to monitor the overall situation carefully to understand travel and traffic behaviour across the city.’

Residents in Oxford have heavily criticised the city’s LTNs since they were installed in May 2022. 

In April this year, a bollard was sawn off overnight by vigilantes after wooden designs replaced plastic posts which were vandalised more than 20 times in the ongoing row.

Oxfordshire County Council spent thousands of pounds replacing the controversial bollards in its LTN scheme after furious residents repeatedly damaged them.

Bollards in the city have been driven over, pulled out of the ground and even set on fire since they were installed.

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