100-year-old trees to be destroyed

Residents in Hall Green and Birmingham Friends of the Earth will be showing their opposition to the proposed widening of School Road, a scheme which will involve chopping down many fine old trees. The road widening will shave only a couple of minutes off bus journey at the expense of ruining the local environment.

Local resident Diana Cook who is spearheading the campaign against the scheme said:

"This plan is an attack on our much-loved School Road where the birdsong is already drowned by heavy traffic. I predict that if the trees are chopped down and the pavement is cut up then the other trees in the gardens will be damaged. Their roots will be severed and all that we will be left with is a dull grey mini-bypass with three lanes of traffic thundering past our front doors."

School Road will not be the only road affected. Similar road widening schemes are being planned for other parts of the route at Station Road/Bordelsey Green East, and Flaxley Road in Stechford, Acocks Green Village, Six Ways, Erdington, involving some demolition of properties, slicing into peoples' front gardens and chopping down yet more trees.

Martin Stride from Friends of the Earth said:

"Plans for widening School Road and other stretches of the Outer Circle route are deeply unpopular with local residents and indeed everybody who cares about Birmingham's environment. The road widening schemes will leave a trail of destruction around the city, involving chopping down scores of trees and the demolition of several properties. These will do little to improve bus journey times, and so are a complete waste of money. The extra road space provided by the widening will fill up with even more cars resulting in yet more traffic congestion and pollution."

He went on to say:

"Birmingham City Council are currently conducting a public consultation about the scheme. It's crucial that as many people as possible make their voices heard before the deadline of 16th July. The city council will then soon realise just how unwelcome these plans are."

Mature trees such as those which are threatened play a crucial role in reducing the impacts of air pollution; they are the 'air conditioners' of our city [1].

Editor's Notes

Schemes of destruction for other stretches of the Outer Circle route 11

  1. Station Road Stechford, near the junction with Bordesley Green East: destruction of several historic hedgerows and 10 mature trees including a very old large oak tree.
  2. Six Ways Erdington: demolition of properties and road widening.
  3. Station Road/Flaxley Road: demolition of several properties for road widening.
  4. Acocks Green Village Centre: destruction of mature trees.

For more information visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/11showcase

[1] Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Trees and Sustainable Urban Air Quality, 2000, p8.