‘Ridiculous’ idea to cut trees in St George’s Place, Canterbury, rejected by Kent County Council
A ‘ridiculous’ suggestion to cut down a row of eight trees in a bid to improve safety on a dangerous road has been rejected by council chiefs.
Traffic experts have floated the idea of cutting trees lining a 200m stretch of St George’s Place in Canterbury, between the old Odeon and Waitrose.
They believed their removal would help increase visibility along the road where two pedestrians – former university professor Anne Seller and student Samuel Lewis – lost their lives in November 2020.
But transport consultants RGP’s suggestion was turned down by Kent County Council following a public backlash.
In response to the proposed felling, the authority’s highways and transport manager said: ‘We believe the trees play an important role for the region and as such any removal would not be taken in charge.”
KCC’s rejection of the idea was met with relief by activists.
Union adviser Connie Nolan said: ‘This is really good news, it was such a ridiculous idea. People are tired of thinking that cutting down trees is a solution to a problem.
“Everyone knows that trees are not a problem along this road. So many people were outraged by the plan.
“I’m very happy that KCC sees this and they won’t go down. It would be a reflex and pointless thing to do.
“With such a hot summer, there is a greater awareness of the work mature trees do for us in providing shade.”
RGP is the traffic advisory firm helping to improve road safety in the city as part of the massive 4,000 house Mountfield Park project between New Dover Road and Bridge.
“Everyone knows that trees aren’t a problem along this road…”
He suggested uprooting the trees in St George’s Place – which were planted in 1998 by the Kentish Gazette – believing it would ‘improve road safety for vulnerable road users’.
“There appears to be a trend with respect to the impact of the height and width of trees and landscaping in the central reserve obscuring the visibility of drivers approaching the crosswalk, which has resulted in an increase in the accident rate and an increase in injury severity,” he said in a report.
In nearby Upper Chantry Lane, there are plans to install a mini roundabout at the convergence with Dover Street, outside the Old City Bar pub, to improve traffic flow.
Street, outside the Old City Bar pub, in an effort to improve traffic flow.