Western Road: Sheffield's most famous tree-lined street to be cleared of dangerous leaves

The council has responded to reports of slips and falls
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A Sheffield street lined with World War One memorial trees has been included in the leaf clearance programme after complaints from councillors and residents.

Western Road is in the new ‘leafing programme’, the city council has confirmed.

Western Road is lined with memorial trees.Western Road is lined with memorial trees.
Western Road is lined with memorial trees.
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Its trees are a designated war memorial and were planted in 1919 in memory of boys from Western Road School (Westways Primary today) killed in World War One. In 2017, some 20 were nearly cut down after councillors voted to remove them to save money. They were saved after an outcry.

More recently, Councillor Ruth Milsom has been calling for the street to be included in the leaf programme after learning contractor Amey had attended 11 times in 11 months to clear debris, amid reports of slips and falls.

Only this week she reported being "disappointed" and "frustrated" at being unsuccessful.

But in response to The Star, Coun Joe Otten, chair of the waste and street scene committee, said: "Western Road is included in the leafing programme. The programme focuses primarily on areas in the city with higher tree density to try to remove the bulk of leaves before they become a problem. However, leaves that have begun to mulch down and become a safety hazard anywhere in the city can also be reported to us."

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The new leaf clearance programme is due to be uploaded to the city council’s website in coming days, he added.

The authority says Amey works to the Government’s code of practice for litter and refuse which states freshly fallen leaves do not need to be removed. In a previous response to Coun Milsom, the council said the contractor does not have to remove leaves until they have broken down and become soil or silt.

And it delivers ‘the cyclical leaf removal programme’ with ‘best endeavours…but in a city of over 4.5 million trees, the volumes of leaves which fall onto the highway network are truly staggering and this is a task which requires a small army of staff to deliver so routine leaf clearance every week or on a more intensive frequency is simply not possible’.

The authority also advises residents not to sweep or blow leaves into the highway ‘as this can lead to blocked drains and increase the risk of flooding’.