The main impulse behind the building of Oxford Covered Market was a general desire to rid the main streets of" untidy, messy and unsavoury stalls", which offended contemporary sensibilities, and provided an effective barrier to traffic. Having survived since medieval times, the street markets in Fish Street, the modern St. Aldate's, and Butcher Row, now Queen Street, were finally condemned by the Oxford Mileways Act of 1771. This Act was primarily concerned with making the city's main roads" more safe and commodious for traffic", and provided for the appointment of commissioners to supervise the demolition of the remairung city gates, the widening of narrow streets, and, where necessary, the building of new roads. A small section of the Mileways Act dealt with the establishment of a joint committee of six university and six city representatives to build and administer a new market in the city for the sale of meat, fish, poultry, herbs and vegetables. Once this market had been completed, the sale of any of these commodities in the public streets was to become illegal.'