TAXPAYERS’ money of course has to be spent very wisely. And authorities should be doing all they can to ensure it goes a long way.

That’s why it’s right for Councillor Bob Johnston to be warning that an opportunity to save millions on the much-needed £123m Western Conveyance channel could be missed.

Network Rail has been asked to pay for a culvert to go under the line in South Oxford at the same time it is raising the tracks for its electrification scheme.

Discussions are still ongoing but it doesn’t sound like there is much hope and that Environment Agency and councils may have to stump up the cash.

On the other end of the scale is the city council’s apparent lack of spending money.

As our story today reveals, not much more than £15,000 has been spent two years after the city council announced its cycle scheme.

Rather than them not wanting to spend it, it sounds like it’s a case of the city and county councils not joining up properly. The city had some of the cash. The county is the highways authority and so would need to approve most of the schemes.

But how difficult can it be?

The money is there and with thousands of cyclists travelling through the city every day it should be spent sooner rather than later to make the roads safer. Let’s hope Councillor John Tanner sticks to his word and makes sure more is done to get the ball rolling.