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Edinburgh Tram Staff Cut Down Trees

Edinburgh TramThe disastrous Edinburgh Trams project has made dozens of mature trees victims of the construction works. The century-old trees were chopped down from some of the most prestigious streets in the city – Atholl Crescent and Coates Crecent – in the upmarket west end. Residents are furious about the happenings and could only watch in horror as they were cut down by tram workers. The public is already spinning from the more than £1 billion cost of the project and traffic delays due to construction works.

Edinburgh Council says that cutting down the trees is vital, and there are plans to plant semi-mature trees in their place withing two years. Residents were warned about the works in a letter sent out by Edinburgh Trams. The note said that the installation of the Shandwick Place tram stop means that the carriageway has to be widened on both sides of the road, and this will result in the footways in place being lost. They will replace the footways on the other side of the boundary wall. Additionally, they have to instal overhead line equipment poles.

The Edinburgh Trams letter continued that the trees in the gardens closest to the bus lane will have to be removed in order to facilitate the works. This means 23 trees will have to be cut down from these areas, but they will be replaced with 37 when the construction works are finished in 2013. Edinburgh Council transport convenor Councillor Gordon Mackenzie defended the chopping down of the trees. He said that the area will have even more greenery than now after the construction works are completed.

One upset resident, Patricia Douglas MBE of Walker Street nearby, says that she is very disappointed about the trees being cut down, as everything seems to be about the trams. The dance teacher has talked to hundreds of other people, and none of them wanted the trams anyway. She can’t believes this is acceptable, as 23 trees are being chopped down and the new ones won’t even be comparable.

A nearby Manor Place resident, 49-year-old Steven Livingston says that it’s incredible that the old trees were just chopped down. The quantity surveyor says that he’s talked to one of the men working on the project to ask why the trees were being removed. The worker responded that Livingston about the 100th person to ask, and it’s for the tram works. Many of the trees are blossom trees, which made spring time lovely, and some of them were 700mm to 800mm in diameter, so he guesses that they were about 100 years old. It’s such a big loss that will last forever, he added, and now there will be a metal structure to take overhead cables in their place.

 

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