The new streetscape at Tower Road is taking shape as approximately 70 of the 130 trees are planted on site using an innovative planting system.
The major investment scheme at Tower Road (A554), now scheduled for completion in Spring 2021, will create a new and improved street design - bringing green infrastructure into the urban environment and making sustainable travel more accessible.
As part of the £3.2 million project, designed and delivered in partnership with Peel L&P, additional funds were secured from European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) and Wirral Waters Investment Fund (WWIF) to plant 130 trees using a planting system designed for on-street trees.
The system used at the site, is called a Silva Cell system. Each Silva Cell is composed of a base, posts and a deck creating a frame that sits underground for the trees to be planted into. The frame takes the weight from traffic using the route to stop the trees getting damaged whilst also providing enough space and room for the tree roots to grow without damaging the road and pavement surrounding it. This system also allows the rainwater to be collected from the highway to help water the trees.
At Tower Road, using this system, larger trees including pine, maple, birch and oak trees have been planted by the council’s contractor, Cambrianway, to help reduce pollution for the surrounding businesses and areas and improve the appearance of the built-up area. All the trees selected for planting have been chosen based on their suitability for this area.
Cllr Liz Grey, Chair Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee at Wirral Council said: “With the planting season officially in full swing, it is great to see trees being planted as part of our major highways schemes too, especially as these trees are larger and more substantial in comparison to the smaller trees, known as whips, used for community plantings.
“The trees being planted will not only help to reduce harmful pollution in this busy area but projects like this all help the council to reach its commitment to double the borough’s tree cover by 2030.
“The project at Tower Road has consideration for the environment at its heart as alongside the planting of trees, the scheme is built around creating an infrastructure that is fit for the future and more suitable for sustainable transport. Making cycling more accessible is vital as we are all becoming more climate conscious when we travel.”
Further works within the Tower Road scheme will see the widening of pavements and reduced road width to give more space and priority to pedestrians and cyclists, whilst still allowing cars, buses, delivery vans, HGV’s and other vehicles to efficiently use the road.