Torfaen County Borough Council has announced that a section of Cwmbran Drive will be closed for three consecutive Sundays in order to allow the safe removal of diseased trees.
The Common Ash trees, between the Parkway roundabout and the Rougemont roundabout, are infected with Ash Dieback disease, which kills the trees and makes them unstable. Whilst removing the diseased ash trees, other trees that are growing into the highway safety zone will also be removed.
The road will be closed between 7am and 4pm on Sunday 27 February, Sunday 6 March and Sunday 13 March, and diversions will be in place.
The work is being carried out now before bird nesting season, on the advice of Torfaen Council’s ecologist. The contractors will also check for any evidence that birds have started nesting early before any trees are removed.
Councillor Mandy Owen, executive member for the environment, said: “We don’t like removing trees unless we really have to because of the many benefits they offer.
“Unfortunately, ash trees along Cwmbran Drive have become unstable due to Ash Dieback so we have to remove them to keep the highway and highway users safe. Due to the nature of Ash Dieback we aren’t sure precisely when branches will start falling off so we are being proactive to ensure the safety of road users.
“The removal of these trees will stimulate growth of the other species that are left, resulting in the tree canopy being replaced over a few years. In such instances, it would not be necessary to replant the lost trees. However, if large gaps are created, we may look to plant new trees of an appropriate species.
“We know how passionate some of our residents are about biodiversity so I want to assure you that the decision to remove these trees along Cwmbran Drive has not been an easy one.”