Anger as Network Rail eyes up trees for the chop

0
Have your say

DOZENS of trees are set to be chopped down at a train line in a move that has infuriated people living nearby.

Network Rail is set to cut down trees and bushes behind residents’ homes in Beaufort Avenue, Fareham.

From left, Stephen Smith, Ken Dimmer, and Ann and Mike Milne are unhappy with Network Rail's plans to cut down the mature trees behind their homes in Beaufort Avenue, Fareham               Picture: Chris Moorhouse

From left, Stephen Smith, Ken Dimmer, and Ann and Mike Milne are unhappy with Network Rail's plans to cut down the mature trees behind their homes in Beaufort Avenue, Fareham Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Trees flanking the line running from Fareham train station down to Highlands Road will be removed early next month.

Rail bosses have said the work, set to last for five months, is critical for safety.

But retired Jean Wigmore, 60, of Beaufort Avenue, said: ‘It is pure deforestation.

‘These trees have been here for decades.

‘They told me it is because they are worried about leaves on the line but this has never been a problem in my knowledge.

‘They also have not thought about all the wildlife that will be destroyed and others having to find homes. It is deeply upsetting.

‘The trees act as a natural sound barrier and create a lovely environment in our gardens and they are destroying it all for no good reason.’

A letter was sent to residents last week informing them of the work which is due to start on November 5 and is anticipated to be completed by the end of March next year.

It said: ‘We write to inform you that Network Rail is required to undertake essential vegetation management work near your property.

‘We will be removing trees and vegetation within the railway boundary to allow a full visual examination and ground investigation of the cutting slopes, ahead of slope remediation work in future years.’

A spokesman for Network Rail told The News: ‘Safety on the railway is our number one priority. This work is critical as we need to repair unstable parts of the cutting, which could be at risk of failure, and to do so we need to clear some of the vegetation here.

‘We are currently carrying out ecological surveys and the results of these will inform how we carry out this work.’

Network Rail will be holding a drop-in session for residents to ask questions and find out more about the work on Thursday October 25 between 3.30pm and 7pm. It will be held at 10th Fareham Scouts hall in Highlands Road, Fareham.

Grass on Fareham tunnel will be allowed to re-establish after the work.