Notting Hill residents are up in arms as it was revealed that a proposed new cycle-route from Holland Park Avenue to Notting Hill will mean the removal of more than two dozen mature trees.
They claim that the Transport for London (TfL) proposal would see the removal of a natural barrier to road pollution, as well as rob the area of a defining green feature.
The proposal would see the removal of two mature trees and a younger tree in Holland Park Avenue, as well as the removal of 23 trees in Notting Hill Gate on the central reservation.
As a result of TfLs plans, local residents who are opposed to the scheme have launched a petition called Save the Trees: Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park Avenue.
The petition, which was launched by Isabel Kay has so far attracted in-excess of 4,000 signatures. Ms Kay stated that the trees are needed to defend against pollution in what is a heavily congested area
She also raised concerns that three billion trees must be planted by 2050 to end Britain’s contribution to global warming.
Another concern raised was that it could be argued that TfL could be putting cyclists lives at risk in a traffic-heavy area.
Ms Kay said: "While cycle lanes are undoubtedly crucial to reduce carbon footprint, it is vital that they do not come at an environmental cost". There were fears that TfL’s seemingly cavalier and careless attitude towards the loss of almost 20 mature trees demonstrated that their primary concern may not be the environment, but nothing more than an attempt to be seen to be pro-active in the quest of tackling environmental issues.
However, TfL have hit back, stating that any trees which need to be removed will be replaced at slightly different locations.
According to the South London Press, a spokesperson for TfL said: "Usually, we’ll only remove trees when there’s no choice and we are committed to replacing each one in an appropriate location nearby".
TfL’s Head of Programme Sponsorship, Nigel Hardy maintained that the proposals would create a much safer and more welcoming high street for pedestrians and cyclists.
Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Planning and Transport spokesman, Councillor Johnny Thalassites said: “We’d encourage everyone to have their say on TfL’s proposals and tell them what they think.” A large number of residents have so far voiced their concerns, which include the potential for gridlock in the area, and the effect the plans could have on the local high street and businesses in the area.
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