Letter: Tree worry

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The certification of supervisors for highway works, requiring the obtaining of a recognised qualification under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, is certainly welcome ("Goodbye road diggers...", 1 September). However, the training offered to those who supervise excavations in the road does not embrace one of the main concerns to members of the public - that street trees should be protected adequately when these works are carried out. This anomaly has its origin in the 1991 Act which, in its 150-odd pages, fails at any point to refer to trees, or the need to protect them, when works on the highway are carried out.

This is something which the local authority associations, and others with an interest in protecting the natural environment, are pursuing with the Government. In the meantime, however, street trees rely for their protection on utility companies and other operators following voluntary codes of practice which lie outside the training required under the New Roads and Street Works Act.

Gavin Wilson

Association of District Councils

London SW1