ONE has to take their hat off to county chiefs for their honesty in admitting plans to transform Broad Street are too expensive to get off the ground.

Although the county council has not completely shelved the plans, it has confessed funding the £3.5m scheme would mean cuts to other, more vital, projects.

While transforming the Broad into a pedestrian-focused plaza would be a fantastic addition to the city, the pressure on council budgets means this is probably the correct decision.

Many would see creating a public square bordered by iconic university sites such as the Clarendon Building, the Sheldonian Theatre and the Weston Library as a vanity project when much-needed services are having the axe taken to them.

Nice as the project would be, it would be impossible to justify it while children's centres, libraries and other key services are under threat.

Not to mention the pressure mounting on social care caused by the ageing population and rising number of people living longer with more complex conditions.

County council leader Ian Hudspeth is right to be ambitious, but also right to admit this is not time for this project to begin.

The time will come when this project can get itself off the ground, but it is right to realistic about what can be achieved in the current financial climate.