'Pretty brutal' tree clearing along railway line prompts complaints

Railway line at Belvedre Road railway bridge PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Railway line at Belvedre Road railway bridge PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

The clearing of trees along railway lines in Ipswich and east Suffolk is a "shame" and "pretty brutal" say critical residents as work continues. 

Daniel Moy, who lives near the railway line at Brunswick Road, called Network Rail's cutting programme between Westerfield and Brunswick Road "tragic".

He added: "It's pretty brutal.

"Although we had letters to say some trees could be removed if old or diseased, it looks like they have taken the decision to remove all.

"It's such a shame that all these trees have been removed and the wildlife lost with it - I've seen deer, foxes, badgers at the back of my garden, let alone the loss of birds.

"Needless to say the noise levels and pollution will only rise as a result.

"Some of these trees had been around for decades so not sure what the urgent decision to cut them down was.

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"All I can think of is that Network Rail is no longer looking to cut back trees and maintain them properly, but clear completely so save money in the long term."

Railway line at Belvedre Road railway bridge PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Railway line at Belvedre Road railway bridge PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

When asked about the tree cutting programme in this area, a Network Rail spokesman said: "Managing trees and vegetation is very important to keep passengers and track workers safe.

"Trees and vegetation can obscure signals, touch live electrical equipment, blow or fall onto the tracks, undermine track foundations, or prevent our track staff having a safe place to wait while trains pass.

"This work also helps reduce leaves falling onto the line, which can affect train acceleration and braking, delaying trains during the autumn months and increasing the risk of an accident happening."

And Richard Canham, who lives further along the line in Halesworth, said that he approached some of the workers who were cutting down trees about half-a-mile from the town.

He said: "It's unnecessary.

"I spoke to the workers and told them they just needed to cut the top from the trees to protect the line, but they'd already cut down one good, healthy tree and I've heard the chainsaws going since then.

"I called Network Rail and they took my complaint but said it would take 20 days to get a response - but in 20 hours those trees will have disappeared.

"I can't believe we're still treating trees like this, I thought we were meant to be trying to preserve them. I'd ask where it will finish, but it'll be when there's no more trees along these embankments."