Nine days to axe dangerous trees

By Daniel Gee   |   Head of Content   |
Sunday 18th October 2020 9:30 am
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It took some nine days for Surrey to reopen Woolmer Hill Road

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WOOLMER Hill Road finally reopened on Tuesday afternoon, nine days after a fallen tree forced its closure.

But county councillor Nikki Barton has joined residents in criticising Surrey County Council (SCC) for what they deem an “unacceptable delay”.

The road, serving Woolmer Hill School, had been closed since Sunday, October 4, after council contractor Kier removed one felled tree but discovered more were in danger of collapse.

A county council spokesman told the Herald last Friday: “The tree surgeons on site didn’t feel as though three trees on the bank were safe so the decision was taken to keep the road closure on.

“The remaining trees require specialist equipment to carry out the works safely which include a digger, crane and cherry picker.”

These works finally took place on Tuesday, with the road opening the same day.

But residents have hit out at the council’s perceived tardiness, after first reporting the danger to their homes, traffic and schoolchildren two week’s earlier.

Alison Walker, a resident of Woolmer Hill Road, said on Friday: “I can’t believe they are allowing what they have said are four dangerous trees to tower over the road, hundreds of school children, and our house for what will be 11 or 12 days.”

Nikki Barton, independent councillor for Haslemere, added she has “raised concerns with the Highways team and SCC leadership” – after council contractors also struggled to remove a tree in Haste Hill last week.

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