Repatriation Route Confirmed

8 June 2011, 12:07 | Updated: 8 June 2011, 12:17

Heart's found out what route the bodies of soliders will take after they've flown back to the Thames Valley.

From September, funeral corteges will travel from RAF Brize Norton to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital. The corteges will leave the base from the gate on the eastern side of the airfield, south of Brize Norton village.

At Brize Norton village the cortege will then turn left into Carterton Road, and will progress along Norton Way, Monahan Way and then head out towards the A40 at Minister Lovell.

Once on the A40 the cortege would progress on that road through to Oxford, linking to the current routing from RAF Lyenham, exiting onto Marsh Lane at Marston and entering the John Radcliffe Hospital via Headley Way.

The corteges will NOT pass through the town of Carterton, as once discussed. In a statement, Oxfordshire County Council said:

"(we) were very conscious that Thursday is scheduled to be the day when funeral corteges will exit the base and this is market day in Carterton - a busy day in the town when car parks are usually full quite early in the day. The Coroner, on whose behalf the County Council is acting, also feels that there should not be a detour which delays the cortege.

Should the Ministry of Defence change the day for funeral corteges from Thursday, the Carterton Town Centre option will become a more viable alternative and the council and its partners will be happy to re-examine the route in such changed circumstances."

However, a memorial garden will be set up on Norton Way, where families or friends wishing to pay respects will be able to gather. Facilities such as toilets and refreshments will be centred around the Sports Pavillion area on Monahan Way.

Councillor David Robertson, the Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said:

"We hope that all local people and organisations will now be able to put differences of opinion behind them and unite behind the plan of action so that Oxfordshire can bring the same atmosphere of reverance and solemnity to these occasions that people in Wootton Bassett have achieved.

We will of course keep a very close eye on how things go when repatriations move to RAF Brize Norton and will respond if any difficulties arise, in conjunction with local people and organisations."