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Low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) are designed to remove motorised traffic from residential streets, while leaving them permeable to pedestrians and cyclists, and they have become a popular means to promote active travel. During the recent pandemic, the government introduced the Active Travel Fund in England to facilitate the rapid implementation of LTNs, but this also resulted in a powerful top-down control element. This in turn has resulted in a paradox where funding is contingent on certain conditions being met, but insufficient and changing guidance has been given to the local authorities charged with implementation. This article outlines this highly unpredictable process, the controversies and the uncertain implementation through the development of the LTN process in England and the experience of Oxford, where many of the issues are currently being confronted.