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Subject: Council builds £190,000 bridges for mice

Written By: Philip Eno on 08/25/10 at 3:45 pm

Council bosses in South Wales have been slammed for spending £190,000 on building bridges - for dormice.

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council put up three highwire walkways so the rodents could cross a bypass safely.

The mice will be protected from nearby predators and will be kept safe from traffic on the Church Village bypass, which opens next month after a 20 year wait.

The three bridges will help them move between habitats either side of the newly-built £90m stretch of road between Pontypridd and Talbot Green.

Local resident Nichola Thomas, 34, said: "There are more pressing issues that the council could be spending money on. I find it absurd that they have spent such an obscene amount of cash on this bridge."

Bethan Rees, 30, agreed and added: "It's an eyesore and it's ludicrous. If it was a bridge for us, I'd still call it a waste of money in this current financial climate."

But Byron Bowden, 27, said "I think it's great that the council are protecting the local wildlife - its something we are proud of here and something authorities are usually dismissive about."

Fiona McEvoy, from the Taxpayers Alliance, said: "Many taxpayers will think the council are taking the mickey, spending so much on a bridge for mice at a time when they're supposed to be strapped for cash."

Coun Andrew Morgan, the council's cabinet member for transport, said the new road would reduce traffic levels in local communities and improve the quality of life of residents and visitors.

"But we also recognise that we must ensure local wildlife and ecology remain protected as much as possible which is why we have undertaken such extensive preparatory work before the major task of building the road itself begins," he said.

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