minister Alan Meale has said.
Mr Meale called on everyone concerned with road maintenance to work
closely together to ensure the well-being and future of street
These trees risk damage each time local authorities and contractors
repair a road or pavement. And, when they reach the end of their
natural lives, it may not be possible to replace them.
He was announcing consultation on proposed guidelines encouraging
better communication and coordination between local authority
highways engineers and tree officers, planners and architects when
working on the roads.
Mr Meale said:
'The trees that tend to mean most to us, because we see them every
day of our lives, are the ones that line the streets where we live
and work. Too many of these are being needlessly damaged.
'The importance of trees in enhancing our quality of life is
acknowledged in the government's new sustainable development
strategy. We must do all we can to care for them.
'The draft guidelines that we have issued for consultation show how
local authorities can continue to accommodate trees safely in our
highways. They give advice on good working practices which, if
adopted by local authorities, will protect trees during road
construction or maintenance works, and will help to ensure they do
not pose a danger to road users and pedestrians.
'The well-being of urban trees will also be the focus of a three year
study commissioned by the Highways Agency. This will research the
conditions required to ensure that trees continue to thrive in our
cities and towns, and will be a further step towards safeguarding our
The draft Guidance 'Roots and Routes' has been produced in
conjunction with Local Highway Authorities, the Arboricultural
Association, the London Tree Officers Association and the
Arboricultural Advisory and Information Service. Similar guidance in
relation to utility works and trees was published in 1995 by the
National Joint Utilities Group (Guidelines for the Planning,
Installation and Maintenance of Utility Services in Proximity to
Trees - NJUG 10).
The closing date for responses to the consultation is 31 August 1999.
Copies of the consultation paper can be obtained from Charlotte
Jones, Rural Development Division, 0171 890 5623, E-mail:
email@example.com The consultation document can also be
found on the DETR website http://www.detr.gov.uk
The three year research project commissioned by the Highways Agency
will be lead by engineering, environmental and landscape consultants
Richards, Moorehead & Laing Limited (RML), together with specialists
from the Transport Research Laboratory and the Arboricultural
Advisory and Information Service of the Tree Advice Trust. The
research was announced on Wednesday 23 June by Parliamentary Under
Secretary of State, Lord Whitty. Copies of the press notice entitled
'Root and branch study to promote green streets' are available from
the DETR website.