Sir – Oxfordshire County Council has realised that Oxford has a traffic problem -- that is the good news.

The bad news, however, is that one of their proposals for easing congestion involves building a road over the golf course in Headington, and connecting it to another proposed road over the Lye Valley Nature Reserve. This proposal is aimed at getting commuters on to the Churchill Hospital site.

Lye Valley is a special place. The path here follows a clear stream as it meanders through woodland, making this is just about the only place in Oxford where you completely forget that you are in the city. It is a truly wild corridor, with deer, fox, badger, owls, green and spotted woodpeckers, and kingfishers. Within it, there are two Sites of Special Scientific Interest, containing rare habitats and flora. So I can’t help but wonder who in the council came up with the idea of building a road that would cut the nature reserve in two. Someone, I think, who has never actually been to the valley. Perhaps someone who prefers concrete to nature? Certainly someone who is focusing more on commuters and less on actual residents.

I have three suggestions: First, if you are reading this, then please contact Oxfordshire County Council and give them your views about this proposed road before April 2, when their so-called consultation ends.

Second, rather than allow more development of the Churchill site, why not build outside the ring road? This would ease congestion without the need for building roads through environmentally sensitive areas.

Third, let’s invite the councillors to actually come to Lye Valley, to walk through it, to experience its wilderness and its tranquility.

But they need to come soon, because if the road gets built, that wilderness and tranquility will be gone forever.

Kate Carne
Lye Valley