The number of trees lining Sheffield’s second busiest road is to be more than doubled as part of improvements to make it ‘faster, cleaner, greener and safer’ .
Sheffield Council is removing 40 trees from Penistone Road – used by almost 60,000 drivers every day – as £5 million work to improve traffic flow and ease congestion continues.
Readers had raised concerns with The Star that the ‘perfectly healthy trees’ were being felled.
But the council says the trees need to be axed because of their unsuitable locations close to where the central reservation is being changed.
They will be replaced with more than 100 new trees later this year when planting season begins.
Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment, said: “When trees are removed for a reason that is not because they are damaged, dead, diseased or dangerous then we do replace them on a two for one basis.
“They are in the wrong place, so it is a shame they have to come out. If we could avoid doing that we would.
“But we are going to be making up for it by putting in more than double so it will be an improvement. Although there are just tree stumps there at the moment it will look really good in the future.”
The new trees will be of the London plain variety – which are better suited to busy roads because of the way they react to air pollution.
They have a lifespan of 200 years and will be planted from October.
Coun Scott added: “As soon as planting season begins we will be able to plant them, as well as putting new wildflowers and bulbs into the area.
“There is also a new cycle and bus lane so everyone will see improvements - this area will become faster, cleaner, greener and safer.”
Congestion-busting work on Penistone Road has begun and also includes an increased 40mph speed limit from Infirmary Road to Capel Street, a stretch which currently has a 30mph limit.