Before announcing plans to scrap park-and-ride facilities inside Oxford’s ring road, you might have thought Oxfordshire County Council would let Oxford City Council know of its intentions.

Given that the park-and-rides are not unimportant to the life of the city and its citizens, running the idea past the city council would have been courteous.

But when you remember that the city council owns and operates three of them — Pear Tree, Seacourt and Redbridge — the lack of discussion between the two councils is scarcely believable.

If Oxfordshire County Council is serious about progressing its £1.2bn transport strategy, it really needs to be working closely with the city at an early stage. Who knows the Town Hall might even be able to offer some sound advice?

It hardly makes much sense to waste money and officers’ time producing these vast transport visions without getting input from the city council at an early stage.

So many of these schemes — bus routes, pedestrianisation and a redeveloped railway station — will require goodwill and close cooperation, not only to find the best solutions, but to have any serious hope of attracting both private and public money.
The reaction of city council leader Bob Price to the proposed transformation of the city’s park-and-ride does not augur well for this key element of the county’s strategy, with its “integrated approach.”
Yes, there will now be consultation. But why not consult after all the serious players have advanced the thinking, or at least developed a shared vision.

Launching a bewildering array of multi-million pound schemes almost on a monthly basis, in the hope that one or two might win local support, is not a sensible approach.

It is all the more odd, when you remember we still await such an apparently straightforward decision as to whether Queen Street should be pedestrianised, with work on the redeveloped Westgate Centre already under way.

Many will also be amazed to see that the idea of a tunnel under the city centre is there in the new Oxford Transport Strategy, remaining for the county council as a long-term option.
And what do we learn about the tunnel from the new document?

“If this option were to be explored further, the business case would need to be developed in more detail,” it tells us. “This would need to consider the benefits to passengers.”

Well, you could knock us down with a feather — spotting that a £500m scheme is worthy of a business case. And who knows it might be even worth making a call to the Town Hall at some point as well?