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Comment - Local Stuff

Trains versus trees by David Flint

We like railways and we like trees. Both are good for the climate and the environment. But what to do when Network Rail fells hundreds of trees in order to maintain train services through Enfield?

That's what Network Rail did last January, provoking howls of outrage from local residents. With all the trees gone the embankment from Green Dragon Lane to Grange Park station looked like a war zone. At the most recent public meeting - on December 1st - Green Party members heard senior Network Rail staff defend the works but admit that communication with the local community had been mishandled.

The current replanting scheme - to which local residents have contributed - seems about as good as is practical in the circumstances. Despite that it leaves residents backing onto the railway with worse views, less privacy, more noise; and possibly reduced house prices.

Will Network Rail compensate them? Of course not!

[Update, July 2012: Network Rail continue to generate anger and resistance in various parts of the country by their heavy-handed clearance of vegetation and lack of consultation. The most recent outcry is in Drayton Park - on the line that runs through western Enfield - where trees with nesting birds in them were illegally chopped down. The British Transport Police have referred this to the DPP.
See the discussion on N21Online (you will need to register/sign in) for the latest news.]

First published in the EGP members newsletter, December 2011

Published and promoted by Bill Linton for Enfield Green Party, both at 39A Fox Lane, London N13 4AJ