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Milton Road avenue of trees 'will be improved by work'

Trees on Milton Rd, Cambridge, which have been under threat. Picture: Keith Heppell
Trees on Milton Rd, Cambridge, which have been under threat. Picture: Keith Heppell

Residents concerned about plan's delivery

Many of the existing trees in Milton Road, Cambridge, will be cut down and replaced it was confirmed this week.

The City Deal board has pledged that it is committed to maintaining the avenue of mature trees when it undertakes work to improve traffic flow.

But some residents were left concerned about how this would be achieved.

Cllr Lewis Herbert, chairman of the City Deal board, confirmed to the Cambridge Indepedent this week: “The commitment is to a mature, impressive avenue of trees along Milton Road.

“In looking at that road space the plans involve changing most of it, so not many of the existing trees will still be there but I can’t say how many. We don’t know. There’s going to be quite a lot of reworking of the road space. There’s going to be as much given to improving cycling as anything else as well as making sure that the junctions work and pedestrians get across.

“If you look at the section of Milton Road from Gilbert Road it’s a pretty windswept area, so we think that at the end of it, overall, the trees will be better than they are now.

“So the commitment is to an avenue of trees – it’s a fairly general term, and also to high quality public realm.

“What we’re committed to is an environment after we’ve finished that local residents will feel proud of.”

Commenting on Cllr Herbert’s clarification, Charles Nisbet, chair of Milton Road Residents’ Association, said: “The end game envisaged by Cllr Herbert is indeed much to be desired.

“Sadly we have a real issue with it, and that is trust.

“Milton Road residents remember the county council’s written promise the last time a similar scheme was proposed, in the 1990s, that trees which were removed for the benefit of the road would be replaced, a promise that was never fulfilled.

“What really puzzles us is that the City Deal are absolutely determined that they are going to embark on this engineering work without waiting to see whether the congestion-busting measures which they are putting in place will make the whole thing unnecessary.

“Once the trees have gone, there is no way back.”

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