A campaign is underway to save trees that have stood in Victoria Park in Deal for decades.
Network Rail have sent letters to nearby residents about plans to clear a 7-metre area either side of the tracks as part of a tree and vegetation management programme. Notices were pinned to many of the trees believed to be under threat, sparking a community campaign to protect them.
I raised the matter with Network Rail bosses at a meeting in Parliament recently.
This issue has caused great concern in our community. Victoria Park is a lovely place to walk your dog or spend time with the family – and would be diminished by the loss of what appear to be perfectly healthy, mature trees.
It’s not clear what now has changed as the trees have stood there for decades. On top of that, this is the time to be planting more trees, not taking down the ones we have already got.
If there are safety reasons why the trees must go, rather than, for example, being cut back away from the tracks, I have asked Network Rail to make sure that they work with the community to make sure new trees are planted.
As well as Network Rail, I met with Southeastern managing director David Statham at the special parliamentary railway summit. I asked when agreed improvements to Deal station would take place as about improvements to the stations at Walmer and Martin Mill.
We worked so hard to secure High Speed trains for our area in the first place. It is just as important for everyone to feel safe and comfortable when they use them.
That’s why when I met with train bosses I pressed for maintenance and improvement works for Deal, Walmer and Martin stations to be carried out as quickly as possible.