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Frosts Road willows alongside QEII being felled for safety reasons

19 October 2004

Contractors working for Christchurch City Council have begun felling large willow trees on the eastern side of Frosts Road in Burwood in preparation for a new walking and cycle path between Travis and Beach roads.

Almost all the willows on the eastern side of the road are to be removed and the work will be completed by the end of this week, says project manager Jon Kingsford. The majority of the poplars alongside the golf course fence are not being touched. The new walkway-cycleway is due to be finished by the end of February.

Mr Kingsford says there is growing need for an off-road recreational walking and cycling pathway alongside Frosts Road. Demand is coming from similar developments around Travis Wetland and Travis Road and the new routes down to the Avon River alongside Anzac Drive. At the same time, the road is being used by more and more motor vehicles.

“Frosts Road is relatively narrow and, since Anzac Drive was built, traffic numbers on it have been rising consistently. At the moment pedestrians and cyclists are having to use the road, so there’s a potential safety issue between them and the motor vehicles,” Mr Kingsford says. “And the trees themselves are old and not as strong as they once were. Our arborists inspected the willows and found that many are a safety risk.”

A report to the 30 August meeting of the Council’s Burwood-Pegasus Community Board, says the trees are, “very large in height and width, are mostly in a poor condition, and have a history of wind-throw and breakage in high winds”.

“Given the considerable age, poor condition and safety considerations relating to the trees, combined with the fact that cyclists and pedestrian traffic would be moving closer and directly beneath them on the proposed pedestrian/cycleway, it is considered that the trees should now be removed to protect public safety,” it says.

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