The debate about Sheffield’s old trees has become confused by the conflation of different discussions.
I share the abhorrence of PFI contracts with the save trees campaign, seeing them as a way of sucking public money into private hands, but can understand how the cash-strapped council resorted to the Amey contract in order to get our potholed roads and damaged pavements repaired.
I can’t see residents voting to increase council tax for road repairs (and those already repaired are a big improvement).
The Western Road memorial trees are a different matter.
Being a war memorial they do have a special status, but their location has, with the passing of time become less appropriate, and perhaps they should be replaced with an off-road grove of trees which would give a quieter place for remembrance?
But these are not the important issues.
When walking around it is apparent that a number of the trees beribboned by the campaign would not be preserved by any rational or reasonable person.
Some are planted right on the corner of junctions, some are so close to roads that their trunks project into the roadway (some having vehicle scrape marks on them), and some obstruct half the pavement width.
Trees grow, age and die, and although some earmarked for removal would not die for some years yet, they are past their middle age and it makes absolute good sense to remove them as part of the road and pavement repairs, replacing them with more suitable saplings in adjusted locations for our long-term benefit, rather than leaving them to cause damage to newly repaired roads and pavements.
Alexandra Gardens, Sheffield S11