When the A14 project was completed, part of the legacy of the project was a large tree planting initiative.
Following an agreement between the County Council and what is now National Highways, tens of thousands of tree saplings were planted alongside the new roads built. They would create much needed noise barriers. Unfortunately people in Longstanton and Girton currently believe they can hear the A14 more than they did before the upgrade.
Sadly residents report many trees are dying. On inspection it is clear that many tree saplings are failing to thrive. However if you ask National Highways for an update on the situation they do not respond, except to say they are counting how many trees need replacing.
We want National Highways and the County Council to focus more on the challenge of ensuring that these trees thrive, and that those that do not are replanted, with changes to their management to ensure that they do thrive in future.
We want National Highways to ensure this project can make a real contribution to mitigating the effects of the climate emergency. It is vital the situation is gripped, and the County Council views this as a critical environmental project, not just a legacy compliance issue from a road building project. We need to show how important this is to residents.
We call on National Highways to publish facts and figures on a regular basis about the tree planting work – for example:
o How many trees were planted originally?
o How many alive after periods of time eg quarterly, annually?
o How many are replanted and when?
o What changes to management should be made to ensure more will thrive?
o What annual processes are engaged with in relation to tree management?
o What is the estimated and actual contribution to carbon reduction?
We want to see these trees grow healthily.
There are environmental benefits, critical for reducing the impact of increased vehicle use, and helpful in reducing some of the flooding that is a risk, for example in Oakington to Fenstanton.
We need the contribution these trees can make to the absorption of new greenhouse gases generated as a result of creating significant new roadspace.
Please sign our petition if you agree!
Cllr Edna Murphey, Cllr Firouz Thompson & Cllr Ros Hathorn