Bus executives must view the start of work on the new Westgate centre with mixed feelings. There can be no doubt that the numbers of people seeking to travel by public transport into Oxford city centre will shoot up, along with their profits.

Yet there must be some sense of nervousness that so many issues remain unresolved: issues relating to routes, turning points, space for bus stops, a new transport hub and, of course, pedestrianisation.

For many of his 20 years as the head of the Oxford Bus Company, Philip Kirk, has been talking about the opportunities and demands on his company that a redeveloped and expanded Westgate would bring.

Thankfully, the man who succeeds him as managing director, Phil Southall, is already well versed in the complexities of delivering people in and out of Oxford’s congested centre, designed in the Middle Ages with little account for public transport it would seem.

As operations director, Mr Southall has already been heavily involved in negotiations with councils, transport planners and the developers.

His comments this week about the benefits of a limited number of buses being reintroduced in Cornmarket will no doubt cause many of our reader to wince as they remember the past misery of shopping in Cornmarket. Others may be tempted to laugh out loud, on recalling the cost and resurfacing fiasco that this long-delayed painful pedestrianisation had involved.

No doubt Mr Southall is right when he said that buses back in Cornmarket could cut ten minutes off journeys but the price would be far too high.

But we suspect rather than Cornmarket, it is keeping a limited number of buses in Queen Street that will be his main preoccupation in coming weeks and months.

It is easy to see why John Lewis and the developers will press for Queen Street to be part of a large pedestrianised area in Oxford’s West End.

Oxfordshire County Council also wanted this, although it now seems that its leadership is increasingly divided about the future of Queen Street.

There will be issues about possible lack of pavement space at numerous bus stops outside the new Westgate along with the implications for High Street, St Aldates and even the Worcester Street car park.

But until a final decision is made about Queen Street, limited progress can be made in terms of routes and all the rest.

If talk of Cornmarket concentrates minds, well and good. Waiting for plans for a bus tunnel under Queen Street and the High is not much of an option.