Saturday the 1st of August saw bridges in Luton draped with banners and campaigners with placards as Extinction Rebellion Luton joined forces with Trees4Luton and local residents in support of the ‘Save Vauxhall Way Trees’ campaign, to prevent the felling of a mile and a half of roadside woodland along Vauxhall Way in Luton.
The sound of horns from supportive drivers rang along the length of the road, as drivers shared their dismay at the unnecessary plan to replace the wildlife corridor, a woodland habitat for bats, owls and hedgehogs with a dual carriageway and large multi-lane junctions. Campaigners ask for the scheme to be dropped, considerably redesigned, or applied only to the section closest to the airport, to preserve as many trees as possible.
The council is accused of ‘green-washing’ the plan with a new joint walking/cycle path that is unnecessary as cool, quiet woodland walking and cycle routes already exist on parallel roads. The council declared a state of Climate Emergency in January and committed to becoming a carbon neutral town by 2040, but critics say that the council’s attitude so far does not reflect this, as they continue to push for airport expansion and road expansion to sustain it, cutting down hundreds of mature trees essential to mitigate pollution and carbon emissions from the town.
“I have contacted the council and met with them about these plans, but been ignored” Says Steve, Hartsfield Road resident for 30 years who joined the campaign after meeting protesters on Saturday, “I am happy that others feel the way I do about our community and the nature around us. We need to press home the value of keeping green spaces for all to enjoy”
“The two potential future developments used to justify the plan, airport expansion and a 1000+ home estate on Eaton Green Road, look highly unlikely to proceed” Said campaigner Mark Rees, “so all we are saying is, give trees a chance!”
Join our Campaign to stop this beautiful wildlife corridor from being destroyed.
Sign the petition: change.org/VauxhallWay
Join our FB Group Save Vauxhall Way Trees