Posted: Wednesday 20th September 2017
Hertfordshire County Council’s Highways team, in partnership with Opus Arup, have been working closely with ecologists, the environment agency and local wildlife groups to protect a rare bat species, called barbastelle, in the Bishop’s Stortford area as part of the planning and design process for a new bypass on the A120.
Following specialist radio tracking surveys to understand the behaviour of the barbastelle bats the county council have been working with the appropriate authorities to design mitigation measures that will seek to keep the bats away from the proposed new bypass.
Luke Casey, who has been tracking the bats and undertaking ecology surveys on behalf of the county council, said: “This is a great example of the county council, the environment agency, ecologists and a local wildlife group working in harmony to protect a rare species of bat that could otherwise have become extinct in Hertfordshire. The changes to the design of the bypass such as specially designed lighting, extensive hedgerow planting and a new underpass will ensure that the bats continue to thrive in their natural habitat here.”
Ralph Sangster, Executive Member for Highways at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We take our environmental responsibilities extremely seriously here at the county council and I’m pleased that the work we have been doing as a Highways authority to take local wildlife and environmental issues into consideration when planning our new road designs has been recognised by our partners. I also hope this goes some way to reassuring our residents that there is a huge amount of work that goes into planning a redesign of an existing route or the development of a new route and we always listen to views from our residents in the form of public consultation before making any decisions about this sort of work.”