A mum of three has hit out at South Lanarkshire Council after they chopped down mature lime trees on Rutherglen Main Street.
Louise Spring, of Greenhill Court, says she was “disgusted” when she saw what was happening to the town centre greenery.
“The Main Street is one of the most polluted roads in the country and one of the things that helps combat that is to have trees and shrubs in the area to provide oxygen,” she said.
“So what does the council do? It chops down the trees.
“I’m so angry – I don’t see why it was necessary – it’s never been a problem any other year,” said the health and social care student.
Louise also says her eight-year-old son was upset when he saw what was happening.
“He kept saying to me that people should show more respect to trees ‘because they are good for us’, she added.
“They have made the area so unsightly by chopping them down completely or cutting them back dramatically.
“It’s a bad move, both environmentally and aesthetically,” said Louise.
And she’s not alone in her condemnation of the council.
“My gran is 86 years old and has lived in Rutherglen all her life.
“She’s upset too, because she says she doesn’t remember a year when the Main Street didn’t have trees.”
Green Party member Susan Martin called the council’s action “ridiculous”.
“Cutting down these beautiful trees is not the way to combat pollution,” she said.
“Part of the beauty of Main Street is that it is tree-lined. That makes it quite unusual.”
Susan also feels that pedestrianisation of part of the street could help the situation.
“A traffic-free zone would be the making of the town,” she added. “Most towns have a pedestrianised area and we have to reduce traffic somehow.
“More community spaces are needed in Rutherglen too – even if it is just a small area.
“Also, there are no green councillors in South Lanarkshire, so no-one puts over the environmental case.”
Stephen Kelly, Head of Facilities, Waste and Grounds Services at South Lanarkshire Council said: “The lime trees on Rutherglen Main Street were, on inspection, found to have damage within the rootzone.
“This prompted the major crown reduction which has taken place recently.
“Lime trees are extremely good at recovering and we would expect a full canopy by the end of the summer 2016 .
“At that point we will reassess the root structure as it may be necessary to carry out this type of crown reduction on a regular basis in future.”