Campaigners are opposed to Kent County Council’s decision to cut tree

by | Aug 26, 2014 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

Officials have proposed cutting down the decades-old white poplar, which stands at the junction of Carpenters Lane and the A26.

Kent County Council says the banking created by its roots has caused five crashes in as many years, but locals say the accidents are down to driver error.

Caroline Wetton, of Castle View, who has lived in the village for 39 years, said:“It would be a shame to lose it.

“It is very important in the Hadlow street scene and we feel that, because it has a third to a quarter of its life remaining, it should not be taken down.

“Most of the accidents I know of in the area are also down to driver error.

“Traffic calming measures further down the road might do more good.

“Drivers coming from Tonbridge approach very fast, perhaps extending the 30mph zone will help.

“We also have a speed camera at the other end of the village. Perhaps we could have a speed camera this end too.”

A letter which residents plan to send to the council suggests erecting a sign which reads: “Please slow down, concealed junction.”

They also want a 20mph speed limit introduced throughout the village.

The tree, which has been covered by a protection order since 1984, stood in its spot long before the junction was built in 1986.

The area used to be within the confines of the Hadlow Brewery.

A KCC spokesman said: “Discussion with Kent Police and analysis of the statistics for killed-and-seriously-injured crashes indicates that visibility for drivers may be reduced as a result of the banking caused by the roots of the tree at the junction of Carpenters Lane and the A26, in Hadlow.

“If it were to be removed, we would replace the tree with one that is more suitable.

“At the moment, no final decision has been taken.”

Residents will have a chance to speak with the county council at a Hadlow Parish Council meeting on Monday, September 8, at 7.30pm.