I’D LIKE to express my outrage at the attempts on New Year’s Day (and apparently also Christmas Day) to close the public footpath from Marston to central Oxford.

This isn’t primarily a recreational route – no doubt thousands of pedestrians and cyclists from Marston use this route to get into town every day of the year, whether they are unobstructed or have to climb or squeeze past the temporary fences, as they all were on New Year’s Day.

However, cyclists unable to lift their bikes would have had to make a very long detour.

If, for example, they had small children and so didn’t want to cycle down Marston Road, they might have had to give up entirely as there are to my knowledge no safe alternative routes for young cyclists.

I have no doubt you have the legal right to do this, but please can you explain what you think gives you the moral right to obstruct the citizens of Oxford in this arbitrary way?

Preventing the establishment of a legal footpath or bridleway is no excuse – the route obviously should be one. Councillors, is there anything that can be done about this? Is there a case for a creation order?


Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Oxford Brookes University