Sir – Peter Salway makes a sensible comment about the strategic necessities of moving goods and people quickly.

Military needs tend – away from war theatres – to be from depot to depot: high flow volumes, small number of despatch and destination points.

I question whether that would suit civilian needs where flow rates fluctuate and destination points are many.

That said, rail connections are essential for military needs and I am surprised that the armed forces have not made this point strongly if, indeed, they haven’t.

The A40 is not merely a commuter road but a trunk route which nominally connects Gloucester and South Wales with South Buckinghamshire and Middlesex, which are highly active industrial areas.

Merely getting people to Oxford and back is not enough, though it is a problem to many. And not merely workers: indeed, in a town where we have more old people’s homes than you can shake a stick at, there has to be a worry about ambulances getting though quickly enough.

The whole road needs upgrading from junction 11a of the M5 to J8a of the M40 and the Ministry of Transport should take control of it.

County councils are too busy whingeing about underfunding to be trusted with the task – and they are over-influenced by the fact, as Peter Salway implies, that houses and shops bring rate revenue but roads do not.

Ralph Ingham-Johnson
Pensclose, Witney