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New trees for Milton Road after county council U-turn

November 26, 2008 12:02 PM
Milton Road trees

Celebrating victory (from left): West Chesterton county councillor Kevin Wilkins, King's Hedges councillor Mike Pitt, Cambridge MP David Howarth, East Chesterton councillor Marian Holness and West Chesterton councillor Max Boyce

New trees are being planted along Cambridge's Milton Road after the county council staged a dramatic U-turn following a successful campaign by the city's Liberal Democrats and residents.

Workmen have begun the first stage of planting from Arbury Road to the Vindis garage after the county council bowed to local pressure and overturned its ban.

Residents contacted council staff to express their delight at the work which will see around 97 new trees planted with 33 diseased or damaged trees being felled.

King's Hedges councillor, Mike Pitt, said: "I am delighted that the county council has seen sense and started work to improve this important gateway to the city centre.

"This is a well-deserved victory for everyone who supported the fight to overturn the county council's planting ban."

The new trees will include False Acacia, which has a pink flower, and will be planted in key locations such as road junctions and areas with hard landscaping. In other areas Cherry trees will be planted.

The planting will be spread over two years, with trees planted on the grass verge this winter and on the hard surfaces, between Mitchams Corner and Arbury Road, next year.

Cambridge MP David Howarth said: "This is really good news and shows the power of local campaigning. Residents and councillors kept up the pressure and have won a victory which will improve our city."

The Milton Road trees had suffered years of neglect, with gaps appearing in the planting after diseased and dying trees were removed and not replaced.

The county council had banned replanting because it claimed future development in the area and a possible bus priority lane and cycleways on the road could lead to the trees being removed again.

East Chesterton councillor, Clare Blair, said: "For years the county council dug in its heels and refused to budge on this issue. Now we can see an end to the neglect and the start of a planting scheme of which we can be proud."