WHICH of these gates do you think should be used to take fallen soldiers from RAF Brize Norton when repatriations are moved to Oxfordshire?

The decision to have hearses leave from a back gate at the West Oxfordshire base has angered some, who say it shows a lack of respect for those killed in Afghanistan.

And they are also upset the cortege will pass around and not through Carterton on the way of the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, for a post mortem examination.

Mourners currently line Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire to pay their respects as hearses make their way to the hospital after landing at RAF Lyneham, which will close next year.

The route will change from September when planes land at RAF Brize Norton.

Oxfordshire County Council released the full route this week and said Thursdays, the usual day for repatriations, was a busy day for Carterton because of the weekly market.

But David Weston, 68, from Southmoor, who stands on the A420 as corteges pass to the John Radcliffe, hit out: “I find it very offensive.

“They went out the front way to war, so why on earth are they being taken out the back way?

“It would never have been the same as Wootton Bassett, but people want to stand there and pay their respects.”

He added: “I know they have talked about there being a market on Thursdays, but for goodness sake cannot they stop for half an hour?”

On The Oxford Mail’s website JamieD71, from Witney, wrote: “This is just shocking. How sad that shopping takes precedence over honouring fallen service personnel.”

John Graham, from Oxford, added: “What do you expect from the county council? Logic and sympathy? I don’t think so. They are not interested in our soldiers.”

But Joy Blake, who arranges Royal British Legion guards of honour at the Folly Hill layby near Faringdon, said it was up to the police, defence and highways chiefs to determine the safest route.

She said: “They have to look at the safety aspect of it. It is not meant to be a parade. I think a lot of people now want to get it back to what it was, and not make so much of a charade of it.”

She added: “As long as people show respect as it is going along the road, it does not matter what the route is.”

Deputy council leader David Robertson, said: “In any situation, where there is a lack of consensus among local people, it becomes obvious that whatever the local authorities do they are going to displease some people.”

The Ministry of Defence said that by not using the front gate, the journey would bot be impeded by other work on the base and that the entire route would minimise delays.