HC Deb 22 March 2001 vol 365 cc283-4W
Mr. Kidney

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what guidance he has given the Highways Agency(a) generally and (b) specifically relating to Devon Way, Stafford, for consultation with residents before trees that screen trunk roads are removed; [154259]

2) how many trees the Highways Agency removed from the land between the M6 motorway and Devon Way at Stafford on 8 March and for what reasons.[154258]

Mr. Hill

I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews, to write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from John Kerman to Mr. David Kidney, dated 22 March 2001:


The Transport Minister, Keith Hill, has asked Tim Matthews to reply to your two Parliamentary Questions about the removal of trees on land between the M6 and Devon Way, Stafford. I am replying in the absence of Tim Matthews.Following complaints about the condition of the trees from a local resident, site inspections showed that some of the trees were in a poor state and needed cutting down or pruning. Three trees were cut down on the 8th March and a fourth one shortly afterwards. Further works are required to this area of mature planting and these will be carried out soon.During the site visits we spoke to a number of residents who generally supported what we were doing but I am sorry that we were unable to talk to them all.I can assure you that we are only removing trees that are dead or dying on safety grounds, or pruning those which overhang adjacent gardens and are causing a nuisance. We intend to provide some new planting at this location, with low-level shrubs at the rear of the gardens graduating to woodland species closer to the motorway.There is no specific guidance for consultation in these circumstances but we do as a rule advise those likely to be affected. In this instance we were responding to the wishes of a number of local residents. I can only apologise for the fact that not everyone was happy.If you would like any additional information please contact Peter Adams at our Bi[...]mingham office. His telephone number is 0121 678 8215.