Sheffield tree protesters ‘put public at risk’ - contractor Streets Ahead claims

Protestors on Wayland Road in Nether Edge have tried to stop AMEY from cutting down the streets trees this morning. Residents on the street gave the workmen tea and cakes when they arrived.
Protestors on Wayland Road in Nether Edge have tried to stop AMEY from cutting down the streets trees this morning. Residents on the street gave the workmen tea and cakes when they arrived.
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Residents have been urged not to block work to fell Sheffield trees – which the contractor claims can put ‘the public at risk’.

Campaigners are taking a stand on roads in Nether Edge, where eight trees are to be felled, until a debate on Sheffield Council’s tree policies takes place on Wednesday, July 1.

The peaceful protesters have given cups of tea to sub-contracted workers and explained they will not move.

The Town Hall debate was sparked by an 8,000-strong petition which started after protests against the removal of trees on Rustlings Road as part of the council’s Streets Ahead contract with Amey.

A Streets Ahead spokesman said one tree on Wayland Road was diseased, another structurally unstable while another six are damaging the pavement – but residents want independent expert analysis.

The spokesman added: “We do have a legal duty to keep our roads and pavements safe for all and when we find a fault that is preventing this we need to act.

“We are once again urging residents to not block replacement works we are trying to carry out as this puts members of the public at risk and also our staff.”

The contractor says it uses large machinery to remove trees and the public cannot be on a ‘working site’.

Calvin Payne, from Nether Edge Green Party, is with the Wayland Road group, who want a moratorium on tree felling while talks with the council continue.

He said: “The vast majority of people here live on this street – it’s not a working site, it is a street where people live and that is the issue. People should have a say on things that happen on their doorstep.

“There’s going to be a stand-off at some point, we are not going to move and they are going to try to make us.”

He said Amey staff had not yet spoken to residents.