‘Trees are not a danger,’ county council tells protestors

TREE PROTESTORS:  Coun Stephen Mackman (yellow jacket) and Coun Nigel Pepper (tie) with Janice and David Barfoot at the junction they say has become dangerous. (SG180815-107TW)
TREE PROTESTORS: Coun Stephen Mackman (yellow jacket) and Coun Nigel Pepper (tie) with Janice and David Barfoot at the junction they say has become dangerous. (SG180815-107TW)
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A resident of Shepeau Stow fears for the lives of local children when the new term starts if trees at the village school are not cut back.

David Barfoot, of Gypsey Lane, says he has been trying for a year to get something done but feels no-one is listening.

His main concern is the view being obscured for motorists approaching the B1166 road at the Dowsdale Road junction.

He said: “In May last year, I wrote a letter to the Shepeau Stow Primary School governors asking them if they would cut back the trees as they are restricting views from both ways when coming out of Dowsdale Road junction on to the B1166, which is the main Peterborough, Spalding and Holbeach route.

“The only response I had was the trees were not the school’s responsibility.

“I wrote to the school governors again in July this year as the road is the main route for the children going to the school and also an accident is waiting to happen. Again, no response.

“I’ve also been in touch with Lincolnshire Highways but nothing has been done.

“The trees are now overhanging 10 to 15 feet.

“It’s growing time, so it will be worse when the children go back to school. Something needs to be done.”

County councillor Nigel Pepper said: “Due to the high level of complaints I have received about this matter, I have contacted the Highways department on numerous occasions and they have also received complaints.

“A Highways inspector recently carried out another inspection and his conclusion was ‘No Highways Issues were noted’.

“What they don’t see as a problem most people do. I fully support Mr Barfoot in his campaign and, hopefully, by bringing this matter out into the open, common sense will prevail and the matter will be brought to a satisfactory conclusion.”

Debra Greeves, the county council’s area highways manager, said yesterday: “The trees are on school grounds at Shepeau Stow Primary School, and it is the school’s responsibility to maintain them.

“It becomes a highways matter if the trees are overhanging the road or affecting visibility for drivers.

“We checked these trees again today and whilst they are growing onto the verge they aren’t affecting visibility at the junction.

“We will continue to monitor the situation, and if we feel that action needs to be taken, we will contact the school to remind them of their responsibility.”