Satwell road tree free again

Oxfordshire County Council took quick action to restore safety and free-flowing traffic to the B481 near Satwell this week.

One of the council’s highway officers came across a large tree branch blocking the carriageway and contacted colleagues from the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service via the council’s customer service centre. A specialist team was sent to cut up and remove the offending timber, restoring order the well-used local road.

Until recently contractors dealt with all fallen trees on the road but it is thought that in many circumstances a fire service response could restore safety and traffic flows more quickly. The county council’s regular contractors will remain available to do this work if the fire service has more pressing priorities.

Paul Wilson, Highway Network Resilience Coordinator, said: “Trained firefighters from the Specialist Rescue Team are now turning out to remove dangerous fallen trees from the highway as part of a special trial.

“The trial seems to be going well as this latest piece of work shows.”

Jason Crapper, “The Fire and Rescue service is an integral part of the county council and it makes sense that we test whether using our specialist skills and resources can benefit residents to save time, maintain safety and save money.”

Only trees that fall onto roads are dealt with by the fire service - trees falling on private land remain the responsibility of the owners and emergency call outs will remain the fire service’s top priority.