Railway line trees to get chop

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Large trees alongside a railway line in Gladstone Rd will be cut down.

About five evergreen, Pittosporum and conifer trees will be removed so there is better visibility at the private railway crossing opposite Cemetery Rd.

The trees are on the grass verge between Cemetery Rd and the old railway station.

Treescape project manager Jerry Lynch spoke at the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board meeting last week to inform board members of the decision.

In March, a truck was hit by a train at the crossing. One of the contributing factors could have been the restricted visibility caused by the trees, Mr Lynch said.

It was “sheer luck” that nobody was killed.

“Something has to be done.”

Some cherry trees would be pruned on the side closest to the rail lines.

“If you’re walking down the side of the road the trees would still look like trees.”

The trees are on Kiwirail land that has been leased to the Dunedin City Council.

The removal would be paid for by Kiwirail.

Board chairwoman Joy Davis used the crossing the prior weekend and did not see any problems.

“I think those conifers could be trimmed but I could see perfectly well,” she said.

Mr Lynch said that, as an arborist, he did not want to see trees cut down but he had to maintain vegetation.

“We have to have 200m clear vision and I think we can get that by the removal of the evergreen trees and pruning the cherry [trees].”

The removal had to happen but he was seeking the board’s blessing.