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GREENING LONDON'S TRANSPORT ROUTES

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New proposals to enhance London's environment by planting trees along the capital's main transport routes, were pub...
New proposals to enhance London's environment by planting trees along the capital's main transport routes, were published today by environment secretary and minister for London John Gummer.

The `Study of London's Green Corridors', commissioned jointly by the Government Office for London and the Countryside Commission, shows what environmental improvements could be achieved by further tree planting near to roads, railways and waterways.

Mr Gummer said: 'First impressions are very important; I want to ensure that as you approach our great capital you are greeted by corridors of trees; I want to enhance London's image as a green and leafy city; I want to create a more attractive landscape for visitors and residents alike.

'Trees also bring environmental benefits for wildlife by providing habitats for a wide variety of creatures.

'I hope local authorities will consider the study carefully, as will other bodies responsible for the transport corridors, and in partnership with local businesses and others in the local community, introduce planting schemes which will add to everyone's quality of life. These principles for environmental enhancement apply not only to London, but to all our towns and cities throughout the country.'

The study sets out practical ways of introducing new tree- planting and offers advice on future maintenance. It looks at two examples, the M1 and the A4/M4, and illustrates how well considered tree-planting can add to the quality of the environment.

It recommends that the M4 corridor is developed as a pilot project to demonstrate good practice and the mechanism for implementing the concept of Green Corridors.

Also welcoming the study, John Johnson, chairman of the Countryside Commission said:

'The Countryside Commission is delighted that this initiative, which attracted considerable interest when proposed in the Countryside's Commission's `Action for London's Trees' in 1993, has widespread support. Green Corridors offer immense potential to create a greener, more attractive capital city.'

'Realising this exciting opportunity will need the commitment and enthusiasm of a wide range of agencies. We are keen to explore with partners, including the Highways Agency and the London boroughs, the opportunities to implement the A4/M4 case study as a pilot project. We intend to meet them soon to discuss this.

'We will need to consider potential sources of both revenue and capital funds, including the possibility of developing a bid to the Millennium Commission.'

- The report, `Study of London's Green Corridors' was carried out in response to the consultation exercise `London - Making the Best Better' which showed that parks, gardens and open spaces were the single most appreciated feature of London.

- Photocopies of the report are available (at cost) from the Countryside Commission, South East Regional Office, 4th Floor, 71 Kingsway, London WC2B 6ST, telephone: 0171-831-3510. A free leaflet summarising the report is also available.

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