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‘Finite budgets’ blamed for overgrown trees in Norwich

Overgrown weeping willow tree at Barn Road roundabout in Norwich.

Overgrown weeping willow tree at Barn Road roundabout in Norwich.

Archant

Pedestrians and cyclists are currently being forced to duck under low-hanging branches on a busy city centre walkway because of Norwich City Council’s “finite budgets”.

Overgrown weeping willow tree at Barn Road roundabout in Norwich. Overgrown weeping willow tree at Barn Road roundabout in Norwich.

The walkway is close to the Halfords store on the busy roundabout between Barn Road and St Crispins Road.

It is close to an exit from the Marriott’s Way footpath, which then joins the pavement as a shared use cycleway so that cyclists can cross at the traffic lights and rejoin the footpath on the other side of the bridge across the River Wensum on St Crispins Road.

James Colk, 36, uses the route on his cycle into work from Costessey and grew frustrated at having to cycle through the over-hanging Weeping Willow branches every day so contacted the city council.

Mr Colk says he first reported the need for the branches to be cut back six weeks ago but after seeing no action contacted the city council again.

He said: “I was told that it won’t get done for another two or three months because the city council have only got two tree officers now and unless the tree has fallen they won’t be able to do it straight away.

“I even offered to do it myself but they warned me against doing that.”

A city council spokesman said they could not guarantee the work would be done soon, saying: “Norwich manages more than 300,000 trees in the city which, as well as adding beauty, provide a habitat for wildlife, help filter carbon emissions and even play a role in moderating the climate.

“When it comes to dealing with issues with trees, we do to some extent rely on reports from local people to tell us where these are – and we thank those who take the time to report issues.

“We are sure people will appreciate, however, that the work we do within finite budgets means we have to prioritise trees which could cause a hazard.”

What do you think? Leave a comment below, email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk or write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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