Gummer plants the seeds for green routes into London

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The Independent Online

Transport Correspondent

Main roads into London should be green fingers of vegetation to brighten the trips of commuters and visitors, according to John Gummer, Secretary of State for the Environment.

Mr Gummer was welcoming the results of a report which showed that extensive tree-planting could bring about a radical improvement on the railways, roads and waterways leading into the nation's capital.

He said yesterday: "First impressions are very important; I want to ensure that as you approach our great capital, you are greeted by corridors of trees."

The study, commissioned jointly by the Countryside Commission and the Government Office for London, recommends a pilot study on the M4 to "demonstrate good practice and the mechanism for implementing the concept of Green Corridors".

However, no funds are available for the project, which is likely to become bogged down in complexity since land adjoining motorways and other transport routes may belong to a large number of owners, both public and private.

Sir John Johnson, chairman of the Countryside Commission, said that there was a possibility that a bid to the Millennium Commission will be made.

And the type of mature trees shown in the illustrations in the report will only be mature by the time most of the current generation of commuters will long since have qualified for their pension books.