Cardiff trees planted to aid social-distancing vandalised

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Wellfield Road treesImage copyright
Raj Aggarwal

Image caption

Wellfield Road had had trees placed in parking bays to reduce car usage and widen the pedestrian area

Trees placed on a Cardiff road to aid social distancing for pedestrians have been snapped in two by vandals.

Wellfield Road in Roath has had traffic measures put in place to widen pavement areas, including placing trees in planter pots in former parking spaces.

One person claimed they had seen two men snap the trees before midnight on Sunday.

Cardiff council’s leader called it a “depressing start to the week”.

Huw Thomas said in a tweet that although the trees were only temporary, “we planned [to] re-plant these trees in areas of low canopy cover in Cardiff. So sad.”

“And this comes on top of the tons of litter left at Roald Dahl Plass [in Cardiff Bay] on Friday. What is wrong with some people?,” he added.

The road had been closed between 06:00 and 16:00 BST on Sunday, to allow the work to go ahead.

Police were called to the scene late on Sunday but the suspects drove off as they arrived. A nearby shop gave CCTV footage to officers.

The council had identified Wellfield Road as one of its targets for increasing pavement space in order to help pedestrians safely navigate the pavements, particularly with shops reopening last Monday.

The trees were an additional measure after claims people started removing cones from the parking spaces in order to park on the road.

Oliver Copleston, who described himself as a resident of Wellfield Road on Twitter, said he had seen two men arrive around 23:40 BST on Sunday and start attacking the trees.

He tweeted: “I know some people aren’t happy with these changes but this is not ok.”

Four trees were damaged in total. Each tree costs £1,500 not including the cost of labour to install it.

A Cardiff council spokesman said: “It’s really disappointing to see these new trees, which were brought in to enhance the district, damaged in this way.

“The affected trees were removed by council officers this morning and four new trees will now be re-ordered. We will continue to assist the police with their ongoing enquiries.”

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