While it is extremely disappointing to read a letter from your High Green correspondent about how ‘stupid and selfish’ we are on Rustlings Road – it is also helpful to have such evidence on public record of how the council have been able to mislead people as to what is happening. While the situations that caused the incidents she refers to clearly need to be remedied, that was not the case here.
Despite – to the confusion of the residents – statements from the council that recorded incidents showed the trees made it difficult or unsafe to move along the footway, subsequent Freedom of Information responses confirmed that there had so far been no such successful claims.
Regarding mobility; I can wheel my mother in her wheelchair – and my grandchildren in their buggies – along here with absolutely no problems, while hundreds of runners manage it at speed on the weekly parkrun with no incidents (several also pushing buggies in front of them without ejecting their babies).
Even if there were a trip hazard, that is not an excuse to remove a healthy mature tree with over 100 years of benefit-giving life still left. All that is needed is some gradual regrading of the footway – which it has been ably demonstrated can be readily achieved here well within national disabled person design guidelines and by using processes and materials endorsed by Amey elsewhere in the country and even by other SCC Departments (and as also concluded by the Independent Tree Panel).
Streets Ahead are not so bothered about trip hazards anyway, it seems. In digging pits for the new trees, some holes have been left partially exposed for weeks through the use of damaged and undersized boards, some of which also stick up.
A complaint about these trip hazards was, interestingly, re-titled ‘Dislodged Boards’ by Streets Ahead and the case ‘closed’ with a comment that it may be dealt with in future works.
And not so ‘selfish’ either. While the campaign initially emerged on Rustlings Road, as the location of the first trees for which there became a wider public awareness of the felling notices (and appropriate as lining a park which is an event venue for thousands from all over Sheffield every year) – it soon morphed into the city-wide ‘Save Our Roadside Trees’ hoping to educate the whole city population as to what was coming their way. It is the council that has tried to divide and conquer the campaign by issuing surveys that only allow people to speak up for their own street – no matter that it might be a main city thoroughfare along which thousands may travel each day.
She concludes by an unequal comparison to areas without trees – but it is of no benefit to the city to make everywhere else look like that for the sake of egalitarianism. Rather, ask the council why there are no plans for planting trees there too.
Rustlings Road Resident