Leeds transport project will cause £14m amenity tree loss, says expert

A new trolleybus system for Leeds will lead to the loss of urban trees worth £14million, according to a tree expert commissioned by local residents' groups.

Sam Turner of Aire Valley Tree Consultancy applied the CAWAT method to value some 500 trees likely to be felled along New Generation Transport's proposed trolleybus routes in the in the north of the city.

He valued some individual mature street trees at around £50,000.

The city council has pledged to replace felled trees on a three-for-one basis with tree stock valued at £700,000, and to replace any replanted trees which die within five years.

But Turner said: "The trees they put back will not be as mature as some of the ones they take out, so in terms of giving the same benefit, we may have to wait 50 years for that."

Many British towns and cities, including Leeds, used to have trolleybus networks, but all had closed by the start of the 1970s.

The current proposals for Leeds are still subject to loacl planning approval.

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