Did the city council in Oxford, England, approve regulations that restrict residents to their neighborhoods? No, that's not true: The claim misrepresents and conflates two proposals. One is a plan to install traffic filters; the other is a proposal meant to ensure residents have all the essential services they need within a 15-minute walk of their homes. Neither proposal restricts residents to their local areas, according to a joint statement from Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council.
The claim appeared in a video (archived here) posted on YouTube on December 12, 2022. The video featured British commentator Katie Hopkins speaking to the camera. She opened:
You will only have 15 minutes of freedom here in the U.K. So let me tell you the plan. The plan is in Oxford, and this has just been passed by the council, to divide the city here ... into six parts ... And you will only have the freedom to operate in the part that you live.
Click below to watch the video on YouTube:
At the 1:18-mark, Hopkins continues:
You, in your area, will only be allowed within that 15-minute zone that you've been allocated.
Hopkins is misrepresenting and conflating two proposals, according to a joint statement from Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council.
The first proposal, aimed at tackling congestion, is a plan to install traffic filters. The statement explains:
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.
The second plan is a proposal meant to ensure residents have all the essential services they need within a 15-minute walk of their homes.
The joint statement specifically addresses the claim that Oxford residents will be restricted to their neighborhoods under one or both of the plans. It reads:
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 statement continues:
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.
In other words, there is no truth to the claim that Oxford residents will be confined to the parts of the city where they live.
USA Today, Reuters, and Full Fact reached the same conclusion in their fact checks, as can be read here, here and here.