PEOPLE living near railway lines have hit out after trackside trees were felled.
Residents of Hunter Terrace in Hendon said the trees made the street more attractive and brought wildlife into the area all year round.
But bosses at Network Rail claim branches were a danger to passing freight and passenger trains.
Retired pit mechanic Fred Taylor, who has lived in the street for 10 years, hoped the trees would just be scaled back.
He added: “It was lovely. It was like an avenue down here.
“The trees were not spoiling anything. If you look up the street, there are the same there – they haven’t touched that bit.
“We got a letter in the post from Network Rail saying the trees were interfering with the sight of the drivers and they would be coming to work on them.
“But they have taken everything away. It is decimated.”
The 66-year-old, married to Joan, complained that about 10 healthy trees have been felled and the exposed land is now littered with rubbish and chunks of wood.
Neighbour Carole Thompson has lived in the street for 35 years and remembers when the railway banks were bustling allotments.
She said: “I used to walk up and down when I was a little girl.
“From about the age of eight, I remember there were always beautiful trees.
“We used to have finches and all kinds of birds. It is just such a shame that they’ve cut the trees down.
“I think they could have done it a bit better.”
A spokesman for Network Rail, which is responsible for the UK’s railway network, said: “Line-side vegetation can obscure signals, get blown onto the tracks, or grow to an extent where our staff do not have a safe place to wait while trains pass, so are an important aspect of our work to keep the railways safe for passengers and staff.
“These works also help prevent leaves falling on the line which hampers train acceleration and braking, and causes delays.
“The works were only on specific trees, including those which have defects or those we consider a danger to the railway and the travelling public.”