Crunch meeting in battle to save the cherry trees

PUBLISHED: 12:55 22 October 2016

Dara Morefield against Queen Ediths Way cycle plans. Picture: Keith Heppell

Dara Morefield against Queen Ediths Way cycle plans. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Unhappy residents in a Cambridge street are battling to stop the county council from building a cycleway – and destroying more than 50 cherry trees in the process.

More than 90 residents in Queen Edith’s Way attended a meeting and voted to oppose the plan put forward by Cambridgeshire County Council.

The council, which will debate the proposal next month, wants to introduce an ‘advisory’ cycleway, which means that vehicles such as cars and lorries can cross into it to get past other traffic.

Dara Morefield, chair of the residents’ association, said: “It is crazy, it really is. The whole thing has been completely mis-managed. The long and the short of it is that the consultation about changes to Queen Edith’s Way was mis-phrased. It was all about cycling improvements on the road and who wouldn’t want that?

“What makes me angry is that we have had to get a little bolshy about it. But I want to make it clear we are pro-cycling and cyclists.

“It is a beautiful road with the cherry trees and while what we have now may not be perfect, it could be improved with relatively modest changes. It is 100 per cent better than the plans that the council has put forward, which will not solve the traffic congestion. It is nonsense to drive forward these proposals just because the council has got £3 million it is desperate to spend. It has got to stop.”

Residents are also concerned about the environmental impact of up-rooting 58 trees and turning over two miles of grass verge 
to tarmac.

Cllr Ian Bates, chairman of the council’s economy and environment committee, which will debate the issue at a meeting on November 10, said: “We have been to the local school and seen what’s happening there. We are in listening mode. We’ve done the seeing, the listening and the talking.”

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