THINK ahead a few years. Imagine Oxford as a bustling place with a revamped Westgate shopping centre.

Picture the redeveloped train station and the prospect of more traffic from those extra homes in Barton West.

Then look closely at the city centre streets and imagine trams buzzing along them.

It all seems to make sense – all part of the general sense of progress and change that city leaders are encouraging.

But will it work?

There are a lot of unanswered questions.

How much will it cost is one – and a big one at that.

Where it will go and how it will work are two more.

Exactly what it will look like and exactly how it will fit in among the city’s historic honey-coloured buildings is unclear.

But these are things that remain to be thrashed out and we should recognise that.

These plans are at an early stage, evidently, but they might be good for the city – in cutting pollution levels if nothing else.

Oxford is a city that is very protective of the way it looks after its history.

Whether this scheme will really fit the city is a moot point. City leaders should not be attacked for looking at good ideas in other areas and seeing if they make sense here.

That is what imaginative leadership is all about.

The city has looked at tram schemes before and, apart from those powered by horses, they have never got off the ground.

Now perhaps, it is time to look again.

Time will tell if this plan gets any further. But it’s going to be a very interesting ride