Future generations will enjoy a safer and greener highway

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I am writing in response to the letter of July 24, by Ms Richardson in relation to highway trees.

Firstly I would like to reassure Ms Richardson that our approach to highway trees is not destruction - quite the opposite. We have carried out a survey of the city’s 36,000 highway trees and we know the health and condition of each tree.

We all know there has been underinvestment in our highway trees nationally over the last 30 years.

Thanks to the Streets Ahead project, Sheffieldhas the resources to ensure we bring up to standard our roads, pavements, streetlights and highway trees and then maintain them to that standard. Removal is always a last resort - it’s much better to repair and heal trees if we can. But where we can’t, we will be removing and replacing those trees that are dead, dying, diseased, dangerous, damaging the road and pavements and ones that cause an obstruction. We need to ensure the highway is safe for all and that pedestrians with disabilities or prams users etc can use pavements without fear of tripping or getting stuck etc.

Ms Richardson rightly says that we are replacing every single tree removed. We are leaving a positive legacy. Future generations will have beautiful trees that are a suitable species for a highway environment and better maintained, so they won’t encounter the problems we have.

We have dedicated and expert tree specialists that inspect each tree before any felling. Each tree removed will be replanted in planting season which runs from November to March.

Our approach means there will still be 36,000 trees on our roads at the end of this project, so future generations will be able to enjoy a highway that is safer and even greener.

Coun Jack Scott

Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling andStreetscene