Bat monitoring as major Preston road expansion continues

Protected: Bat surveys are being conducted on Golden Way
Protected: Bat surveys are being conducted on Golden Way
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Bat surveys are being conducted as roadworks on a major artery into the city centre continue.

A section of Golden Way was widened from Cop Lane towards Preston earlier this year. Now as expansion works of the A582 to complete the dual-carriageway along Golden Way between Leyland Road and the Broad Oak roundabout, next to Booth’s supermarket continues Lancashire County Council revealed they are still assessing the impact the work will have on wildlife near the road. Phil Wilson, project manager for City Deal, said: “We’re currently carrying out ecological, environmental and wildlife surveys in this area, in preparation for possible road improvements – including the proposed widening of the A582 towards the M65.

Bats are still under threat from building and development work that affects roosts, loss of habitat and the severing of commuting routes by roads.

“These surveys allow us to see what sensitive wildlife and ecology is in the area, introduce measures to avoid disturbing it and mitigate the impact as far as possible.”

The Bat Conservation Trust said the behaviour and patterns of bat populations can give us an insight into the state of the environment.

A spokesman for the BCT said: “Bats are protected by law because of the severe declines they have experienced in the past through habitat loss, agricultural intensification, roost destruction, pesticides and deliberate killing.

“Bats are still under threat from building and development work that affects roosts, loss of habitat and the severing of commuting routes by roads. Bats are a vital part of our native wildlife and they can tell us a lot about the state of the environment, as they are top predators of common nocturnal insects and are sensitive to changes in land use.”

The county council revealed changes to the current expansion plans for the A582 would require planning permission.

A spokesman said: “Proposed future changes to the roads in this area, including the widening of the A582 and the completion of Penwortham Bypass, will need planning permission, which would include further consultation and chances for people to comment. The A582 is one of Central Lancashire’s busiest roads. This aim is to relieve congestion and encourage economic growth across the area.”