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New trees planned around Abbey Wood Crossrail station

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 June 2019

Shops in Wilton Road say their village parade has been forgotten. Picture: Tom Bull

Shops in Wilton Road say their village parade has been forgotten. Picture: Tom Bull

Archant

Bexley Council has responded to calls for better greenery surrounding the new Crossrail station in Abbey Wood.

A petition pressing the council to plant more trees in Wilton Road "to enhance the streetscape and improve air quality" has been backed by more than 100 people in just a few days.

The petition continues: "Widely distributed upgrade plans for Wilton Road clearly include trees, however these have not materialised. This campaign strives, not only to make people's experience of their surrounds better, but also improved health outcomes."

Greenwich councillors have been quick to lend their support to the campaign on social media.

Former Greenwich leader and Abbey Wood councillor Denise Hyland wrote on Twitter: "Bexley Council is leading on these works and looking to provide trees as part of the scheme. As Greenwich councillors we are actively pursuing this. Trees will enhance the streetscape and improve air quality. "

A spokesman for Bexley Council has now issued a statement to the LDR service outlining its future plans.

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"We want local businesses and residents in Abbey Wood to be able to make the most of the benefits that Crossrail will bring and have provided substantial investment to improve the public realm around the station," the spokesman said.

"New trees will be installed in Gayton Road as part of the improvements but we have to wait for the planting season, towards the end of this year, otherwise it is unlikely that plants would survive. Underground services for the new station have limited where new trees can go but as an alternative we are investigating the use of planters on footpaths which would enable more greenery to be provided.

"However these would have to be easily moved to enable future access to the underground cables and this limits the size and survival rate of any trees planted."

Struggling Abbey Wood businesses recently opened up to the LDR service on the impact prolonged Crossrail delays have had.

Linda Williams, who owns West End Styles in Wilton Road, said: "Crossrail have cut us out. You can't even see us here. "The footfall goes over the flyover - we have asked for boards to be put up to tell people the shops are here.

"We are stuck. A non-entity. Closed off."

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