A LEADING councillor has acted to reassure Keighley environmental campaign group BANDAG over lost trees in the town centre.

BANDAG had raised concerns about Bradford Council’s recent felling of nine trees along North Street near to the town hall square and former college site.

Members were horrified to discover contractors had recently removed some of the trees as part of plans to widen North Street to improve traffic flow.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, the council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, responded to BANDAG's concerns.

He assured BANDAG that more trees would be planted than were removed.

Six field maples will be planted alongside the old college site and seven ‘Rancho’ trees alongside the town hall square. The 13 new trees will be planted on the realigned pavements at both locations.

Cllr Ross-Shaw later told the Keighley News that the North Street scheme was positive for Keighley town centre and has good support from local businesses and business groups.

He added: “The fact we can use the scheme to have more trees along the street scene is a bonus worth welcoming.”

The council is currently building a third lane on North Street, alongside the recently demolished college building, to help traffic to left into Cavendish Street.

It also plans to create an extra lane along North Street between Cavendish Street and the High Street junction.

BANDAG spokesman Barbara Archer said members still had concerns about root damage to trees that remained in the vicinity of North Street.

She added: “Roots may well be damaged on the town hall square’s cherry trees and a couple of existing trees. These trees are not marked as protected.” are not marked as protected either!

Mrs Archer added that most people had little faith in the council’s plans to improve traffic flow along North Street, which she described as a “two lanes to three lanes to two lanes to one lane jam buster”.