Residents are furious at the decision of highway bosses to cut 100 trees, which has left their homes exposed to one Britain’s busiest roads.  

Quinton in Birmingham was shocked to see rows of conifers disappearing from their gardens.

For 50 years the trees have grown there, protecting homeowners from pollution and light from the motorway nearby. This road is used daily by thousands.

Locals now find themselves in tears after their once peaceful back gardens are left a mess and made fully visible to the traffic.

The shocking before-and after photos of one garden, surrounded by green lush trees and full of colour, show how it was left without any view of the motorway.

Residents claim the sound of thousands upon thousands of trucks passing by their homes each day is too much for them to bear.

Some people wake up at night to find their beds shaking due to vibrations from passing traffic.

The HGV headlights also illuminated bedrooms like Blackpool lightings, leaving them with the feeling of ‘living in an underground club’.

Melanie Davies' neighbour's garden before

Melanie Davies' garden now the conifers have gone

The scene before and the aftermath: Left are rows of conifer trees which once protected Quinton homeowners from pollution, noise, and traffic. The scene as it is today can be seen in the picture below

Residents were left gobsmacked when rows of once sturdy conifers began to disappear from behind their back gardens last month

The disappearance of rows upon rows once robust conifers from back yards last month left residents stunned.

Melanie Davies, 51, a health and safety consultant, moved into her £175,000 terraced property last April and broke down in tears when she saw the unsightly tree stumps where conifers once proudly stood

Melanie Davies, 51, a health and safety consultant, moved into her £175,000 terraced property last April and broke down in tears when she saw the unsightly tree stumps where conifers once proudly stood

Some residents described their homes as smelling like a petrol station due to the smell that billowed over their windows and fences.

National Grid’s and National Highways’s destruction of trees has had a devastating effect on habitats once home to bats, badgers and birds.

Instead of having rows upon rows of tree stumps in front their houses, many families are left without a fence to protect them from motorway accidents.

As a result, property prices on Clay Drive and Village Mews have dropped in value by as much as £30,000 almost overnight.

Melanie Davies, 51, a health and safety consultant, moved into her £175,000 end terraced property last April and has spent £50,000 renovating the place.

It was at these stumps that rows of conifers used to proudly stand that she broke down, admitting she. 

“The first time I came in, after the workers started their work, my tears fell to the ground,” she said. It was like I had just fallen to the ground. It was heartbreaking.

“I moved in to this house only April, and I have spent everything on renovating it. The garden was the next thing on my list. But now, there is no need.

The trees were placed 50 years ago under a planning agreement that was meant to provide protection for residents living near the motorway. They seem to have torn it up now.

“There was once a wildlife area between our fences, and the motorway. But now there are no bats or birds in any gardens. The habitat of these animals has been also destroyed.

The M5, pictured behind the blue shed in Melanie Davies' garden in Quinton, is among Britain's busiest motorways

Pictured behind Melanie Davies’ blue shed, the M5 is one of Britain’s most busy motorways

The smell of fumes billowing over their fences and through windows has also left homes smelling 'like a petrol station', according to some residents. Pictured: Traffic building on the M5

Some residents described their homes as smelling like a petrol station due to the smell coming from outside. Pictured: Traffic on the M5

National Highways says they have agreed to agreed to plant 'fast growing species in the area' to replace the conifers

National Highways says they have agreed to agreed to plant ‘fast growing species in the area’ to replace the conifers

They claim that it’s to keep the motorway safe, however all 100 can be considered unsafe as they face a sloped embankment.

“Rather, they made it unsafer – making us more vulnerable to the effects of pollution. And if it crashed into our garden it would be in ours. Is that really safe?

“All they needed to do was keep them alive or get rid of dead tress, not ruin an entire section. It was done quickly and without any objection.

“What is left behind has caused great damage. It is now possible for Lorry drivers to see our homes, and it is quite disgusting that the exhaust fumes are pouring into our property.

“It’s like living at a gas station. The motorway is vile, you can smell it.

“I moved out of the back bedroom due to the fact that the lorry’s headlights flood into my house, making it look like Blackpool lightings.

The strobe effect is caused by gaps between the fence and makes it feel like you’re in a nightclub.

“The sound of trucks thundering past has replaced the faint hum of traffic.

“The trees protected all this up until now. It’s impossible to escape it.

“It was done without consultation and underhand. Where are the impacts assessments if they’re citing safety and health?

“They can’t provide them. It was all done in secret, behind residents’ backs. It’s uncalled for and unnecessary.

Shocking before and after pictures show one garden bursting with colour surrounded by lush green trees which has now been left with barren views of the motorway

These shocking before and after photos reveal a garden filled with vibrant colour, surrounded by lush green plants. The motorway is now visible from the other side.

Campaigners and local politicians also slammed the decision in the wake of Britain's responsibilities as host of COP26 global summit this summer

Local politicians and campaigners also criticized the decision, citing Britain’s responsibilities this summer as the host for the COP26 global summit.

The National Grid said the trees had been removed due to the risk to traffic and nearby power lines as part of a joint partnership with National Highways

The National Grid said the trees had been removed due to the risk to traffic and nearby power lines as part of a joint partnership with National Highways

“There’s something wrong, but they have the deep pockets to win any legal battles. They know that residents don’t have those same funds.

“I don’t wish for other communities to be like ours. They were cruel and barbaric in their actions.

“We have a resident who is terminally ill and cannot relax at home. People are being awakened by traffic as their beds shake.

“My neighbor next door hasn’t yet moved in, God knows what they’re going to do when she arrives in the new house. It isn’t her home anymore.

National Highways claims they will plant more shrubs, however the bushes must be less than 5ft in height. So how long does it take for them to mature?

“I have spent so much effort to make this home a home but it isn’t something I enjoy anymore.”

“People might say we should not have known what our motorway lifestyle meant, but the truth is that we understood what we purchased and it has been no problem.

“It is like having a motorway run through your house.

Michael Lawrence, another resident said that the problem with the motorway wasn’t a concern when trees are still in place.

Family photographs show the original construction of the M5 in 1962 as part of a national effort to better connect cities and towns by road

Photos taken from family shows the M5 being built in 1962. This was part of a nationwide effort to connect towns and cities by roads.

He stated, “They’ve left, but the wildlife is gone as well, there’s more pollution, and it’s completely destroyed the view.”

“We did not have time for a conversation with National Grid.”

Connell McHugh who lives in Chichester Drive added, “The trees would protect you against the excessive dust, light, and pollution.”

“When you purchase a house near the motorway, you have to accept that there will be noise. But the greenery makes it feel more comfortable and homey.

Preet Kaur Gil, Labour’s MP for Birmingham Edgbaston has written to National Grid in order to receive an explanation.

“The poor communication concerning this work was deeply troubling for the residents and me,” she wrote.

“I find it disconcerting that this is the right course of action, and want to know why.

“These were major works, and the residents of these areas should have been fully informed, not just consulted. None of the residents had time to ask questions about these works.

These trees were planted to guard the property and residents from damage caused by the highway.

Residents can smell the motorway now through double-glazed windows. Lights shine through curtains.

“In addition to this, residents were left with stumps. The motorway is protected by only one broken fence.

This row of trees was also endangered and had been home to bats.

“With all the trees being cut down, it is very concerning that important environmental habitats have been destroyed. It would be interesting to know if there was an ecological and/or impact assessment.

“The government hosted COP26 in this year’s capital and stated that climate change is a top priority. This message cannot be reinforced by cutting down more than 50 trees.

Dom Stanford, Tory councillor, said that he sympathized with residents who have been affected by noise pollution.

He stated that he believed this was an unplanned development, and would not have been subject to any consultation. This is why I believe it has surprised many of the residents.

“The National Grid responses have been abrupt and very rude which has not helped the situation.

“I took their reports regarding light pollution, noise and other concerns and have called National Highways to ask them to urgently take action to minimize the negative effects of cutting down trees.

National Grid announced that trees were cut due to danger for traffic in a joint partnership.

National Highways owns the land on which the trees were placed. It stated that it has agreed to plant fast-growing species again.

National Grid spokesperson said that while they understand residents’ concerns, this safety measure was necessary to safeguard overhead power lines and motorway traffic along the M5 as well as local residents.

‘We have a legal obligation to guarantee safe distances among trees and power cable.

“In the past, we have decreased their height without completely removing them.

However, arborists from specialized firms are of the opinion that regular cutting is unsafe as it could cause the tree or branch to grow in a way that increases the chance of falling onto powerlines, motorways, or residents’ gardens.

National Highways is replacing trees on the site where they were once planted with better species. This will allow the highway to keep its screening.

Ian Doust is the National Highways program development manager. He said: “We are working with National Grid in cooperation to replace trees near M5.

“We have agreed to plant rapidly growing species in this area.”

This is based on new data. This festive season could see the UK become busier than ever in five years. Around 27 million drivers take to the roads between Friday, and Saturday. Christmas Eve.

The RAC forecast that there will be an average number of 4.1million of these journeys each day, with a peak of 5.3million at Christmas Eve.

Avoid traffic congestion by setting off earlier or delaying your trip until later in the day. Meanwhile separate research said December is the second deadliest month for drink-driving.

Brake analysis revealed 6,140 deaths or injuries in collisions that involved at least one driver exceeding the limit of alcohol on Britain’s roads between 2012-2019.