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Chaotic scenes as another tree felled on Milton Road roundabout





The work on the Cambridge roundabout was suspended for a third time on Monday amid chaotic scenes but not before one of the trees was felled on the site.

The outcome at Highworth Avenue/Milton Road roundabout after another day of felling, with West Chesterton resident Lizzie on the site
The outcome at Highworth Avenue/Milton Road roundabout after another day of felling, with West Chesterton resident Lizzie on the site

The roundabout is part of the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) initiative to improve facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists along Milton Road, but when the construction team arrived on the site on Monday last week residents halted the work, saying there has been no consultation about the felling of the trees on the site, which is at the junction of Milton Road and Highworth Avenue.

When the workers revisited the site on Friday and recommenced the removal of the trees and shrubbery on the roundabout, the residents again intervened and stopped the work from being completed.

This morning (Monday), the construction team from Milestone Infrastructure, a part of M Group arrived on-site and were joined by tree surgeons working for the GCP at 11am. As soon as she heard them, local resident Lizzie – who had attended Friday’s protest – walked on to the roundabout, where she witnessed the team felling one of the trees, a cotoneaster, at close quarters.

“Lizzie got over to the roundabout very quickly,” said neighbour Katherine Knight, “but the workers swooped in and chopped down the red berry tree. She was very frustrated and ran around the back of the tree to stop it being cut down.”

West Chesterton resident Lizzie on the Highworth Avenue/Milton Road roundabout as the cotoneaster tree is being cut down, October 24, 2022
West Chesterton resident Lizzie on the Highworth Avenue/Milton Road roundabout as the cotoneaster tree is being cut down, October 24, 2022

Following the incident the work was halted again and the workers left by 3pm, saying the roundabout will be fenced off for future visits. But before they left, they explained to Katherine that the roundabout was due to be levelled – currently it is bumpy.

“They will level it to take the roots out after the trees have come down,” Katherine says. “I said there is a hilly roundabout at Addenbrooke’s Hospital but the GCP are putting their heads down.

The cotoneaster was felled on the Highworth Avenue/Milton Road roundabout today
The cotoneaster was felled on the Highworth Avenue/Milton Road roundabout today

“I was shown a paper plan of the works, which had the centre of the roundabout as 0.9m above the road level in its centre, and apparently it is 1.5m presently. So all this is being done to reduce it by 0.6m.”

A GCP spokesperson told the Cambridge Independent that there had been a public consultation on the work along Milton Road.

Comments about trees in the 2016/2016 GCP Milton Road Consultation Report are shown here:

The GCP Milton Road Consultation Report 2015/2016 on trees shows concerns were raised about the trees on the route
The GCP Milton Road Consultation Report 2015/2016 on trees shows concerns were raised about the trees on the route

The GCP spokesperson stated: “The GCP has temporarily suspended work on the Milton Road scheme and our contractors will be putting fencing up at the roundabout to protect the public and workers on site.

“The removal and replacement of a number of trees and vegetation along Milton Road – including from the roundabout – to enable these significant transport improvements to be made was included in the public consultations and subsequent construction plans, as well as during ongoing engagement with the Local Liaison Forum and the community.

Contractors at the Highworth Avenue/Milton Road roundabout on October 24, 2022 (60186292)
Contractors at the Highworth Avenue/Milton Road roundabout on October 24, 2022 (60186292)

“As part of our commitment to the environment, we will plant 194 new trees using a tree pit system which will help them to grow and increase tree canopy cover. Additionally, 4,611 m2 of rain garden and grass and wildflower verges will be put in to significantly enhance biodiversity and create a greener gateway to the city.”

This evening, Lizzie was not able to comment on her ordeal.

“This morning has really taken it out of her,” Katherine said. “She needs a bit of a break.”

Milestone Infrastructure was approached for comment.



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