Major road closure while unsafe trees removed
Posted on Friday 11th September 2020
A recent survey has revealed that urgent work is needed to fell a significant number of mature trees along part of Caerleon Road because of the devastating ash dieback disease.
Full closure of a stretch of road to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles will be essential for safety reasons while this major operation is carried out by specialist contractors.
Only managed access to properties within the closure zone will be allowed for the duration of the project which is scheduled to commence on Monday 28 September, and is expected to take about 50 days.
Large machinery will be required to fell the trees along both sides of a stretch of road from close to the St Julian’s Inn to the junction with New Road.
The work will be done in two phases to maintain access to properties within the zone as much as possible. The St Julian’s Inn will be able to remain open for business during the work but the access route will change depending on the programme.
Contractors will be working seven days a week, with some low risk tasks undertaken during the hours of darkness, to get the work done as quickly as possible. All materials will be removed from site and none will go to landfill.
Diversions routes for most vehicles will be via New Road, Belmont Hill, Royal Oak Hill, Chepstow Road, Clarence Place, Old Green roundabout and A4042 but heavy vehicles will use the B4236, Ponthir, Llanfrechfa and the A4042
Information has been given to those directly impacted by the closure while traffic management and signs will inform other road users. Emergency services and bus companies have also been made aware of the closure and diversion routes.
Councillor Roger Jeavons, Newport City Council’s cabinet member for city services, said: “We realise that this will cause considerable inconvenience to residents and those wanting to travel to, from and through Caerleon.
“However, it is absolutely vital that this work is carried out as quickly and safely as possible. These trees pose a risk to people’s health and safety using the road as they could fall at any time and urgently need to be removed as soon as possible.
“A potential problem with some trees was highlighted this year but a further survey identified the disease had spread further and the dry weather during the summer has exacerbated this serious issue.
“Total closure of the road is the best way to protect all road users as there will not be enough room to safely get the work done as speedily as possible to minimise the disruption as much as possible.
“It also means that any scheduled road maintenance can be carried out at the same time to prevent further closures in the future.”
Ash dieback has infected most of the woodland in the area and the trees are rapidly dying. This is an airborne disease for which there is no cure and if the trees are not felled as quickly as possible, they will become brittle and fall onto the road and footpath without warning. This has already happened with a couple of the trees. This situation needs to be swiftly addressed.
They will be cut down to ground level and, although new trees will be planted, it will be some time before the woodland looks the same as it does now.
To find out more about ash dieback, and several other serious tree diseases affecting the UK, visit https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/pest-and-disease-resources