Pause on tree felling works across Sheffield enters third week

An Amey arborist at work.
An Amey arborist at work.
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Tree felling works across Sheffield will not take place today (Monday) - three weeks since works were paused.

An Amey spokeswoman confirmed this morning that the situation "had not changed" and said a resumption date had still not been set.

The firm originally said it had amended its programme of works as part of its £2.2 billion Streets Ahead contract and the delay was while it focused on other areas of the deal.

But question marks have been raised about the reason for the postponement after Darren Butt, the firm's operations director, suggested the entire tree felling programme was on hold following clashes between protesters and Amey security staff on Meersbrook Road, Meersbrook, last month during a live radio interview.

A spokeswoman said: "Amey is still reviewing their working practices and getting on with other elements of the contract - resurfacing and street lighting - at the minute.

"We will resume tree works as and when."

The spokeswoman added there were around 250 trees left to fell and replace as part of Amey's Core Investment Period.

Arborists are felling and replacing trees deemed dangerous, dead, diseased, dying or which are said to be damaging streets and pavements.

Objectors to the scheme have staged a number of protests across the city, with demonstrations now held on a daily basis.

There was a disturbance in Meersbrook Park Road, Meersbrook, on Monday, January 22, when a campaigner fighting to save the trees clashed with security staff, who have been given permission to physically remove trespassers from safety zones.

Trees earmarked for felling are fenced or cordoned off and a court injunction is in place making it illegal for protesters to enter the safety zones.

But a number of cordons have been breached, leading to a number of stand-offs.

The Star has contacted Amey and South Yorkshire Police to request interviews about the works.