Your Star Letter of Wednesday, September 16, headed “Argument smacks of reactionary nimbyism” is sadly full of holes and inaccuracies which can be corrected in the same order, as follows:
1. It describes 16 trees due to be cut down in Rustlings Road. It isn’t, it’s 11, and Amey now say they may save three of those.
2. It’s not a “characterful root-cracked road.” The road was re-laid two years ago. If the large-crowned, mature elm trees are felled and replaced with three metre high saplings it will completely change the character of the road and of course it’ll have an effect on house prices.
3. The pavements are not “warped, bent and cracked”. They are largely, (apart from the small area adjacent to the tree at the bottom of Wragby Road), acceptable, within Amey’s recently invented specs, and are OK for wheelchairs and people pushing prams, even two abreast. They have also been tested by partially-sighted pedsestrians and approved.
4. The “complaining residents” are not “doing it for their own benefit”. This is a citywide issue.
The city’s mature road trees are being felled by Amey during the first five years of their 25 -ear contract with Sheffield City Council, (SCC).
They will then have substantially less maintainance work to do for the remaining 20 years, which will have a very positive effect on their profits.
SCC had no street tree policy in force at the time of agreeing this contract, three years ago.
They didn’t realise the implications of what they’d agreed with Amey, and are, at the moment, too pig-headed to agree they were wrong and re-negotiate with Amey.
And that’s why Coun Terry Fox holds his outstretched palm in the air and says he can’t make a knee-jerk reaction.
But this has now gone on for several months.
How can he allow trees to be felled when the now promised street tree strategy is being formulated?
He could show bravery and fairness and arrange a moratorium until spring when it becomes available.
5. These are not the whims of a small section of the public, almost 13,000 so far have signed the petition.
These are people who care about Sheffield’s infrastructure and are also capable of recycling at the same time.
By the way, it’s not the residents who’ll plant the new trees.