I have studied with great care, in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport, Sir Frederick Armer's report on the Oxford roads inquiry. I have accepted in principle his recommendation for a relief road across Christ Church Meadow, under St. Aldate's and on through St. Ebbe's northward as proposed by the City Council; but I have suggested that the road should be extended further north than they proposed to secure the maximum value.
I regret the necessity for a road across the Meadow, but there is no doubt that this is the most effective way to provide the relief so badly needed in the centre of the City and the University. Much time has been spent on examining the possibilities of an alternative route further south, but it is plain that that could not provide anything like so effective a solution unless the public were compelled to use it. That I do not think acceptable. My right hon. Friend and I think it may well be right that the road should be sunk where it crosses the Meadow except where it must rise to cross the Cherwell. We are ready to consider any measures which will reduce the impact of the road on the Meadow.
A letter setting out my conclusions in full has been sent to the Oxford City Council and I have invited them to submit proposals for altering their development plan accordingly.