Clearing up busway facts

I WOULD like to address some points Julia Napier raised about the guided busway (Letters, April 25). The busway team has visited a number of schools to explain about the danger of going on to construction sites. We thought it prudent to do so, as much of

I WOULD like to address some points Julia Napier raised about the guided busway (Letters, April 25).

The busway team has visited a number of schools to explain about the danger of going on to construction sites. We thought it prudent to do so, as much of the building work for the busway will take place along the old railway line and this is an area that has previously been used by families as a place to walk and cycle. Naturally we must do all we can to prevent children from getting on to the site while heavy construction work is going on.

At the same time, we've also spoken about work we are doing to protect wildlife during construction. We have not painted the unrealistically rosy picture that Ms Napier suggests. We have been honest and said that, while we will have an impact on the environment and the habitats of some wildlife, we are doing as much as we can to make up for it.

We explained to children that we're creating new habitats for wildlife and protecting the existing wildlife as much as possible. This involves ensuring there is no disturbance to protected species, such as great crested newts and badgers, and includes putting in temporary newt fences, mammal pipes/passes, bird boxes, bat boxes and other measures.


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In terms of Ms Napier's criticisms of our work on the new wildlife habitat near Over cutting, the area is being seeded this week with a wildflower/grass seed mix from a specialist supplier that Ms Napier herself recommended. We will start planting trees and shrubs in the autumn to give them the best opportunity to establish.

This spring has not been ideal for planting because of the lack of rain and early start of the growing season. We will have therefore provided the butterflies and other invertebrates with an opportunity to start to colonise the new habitat during this spring-summer season.

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Heavy work in the cutting will not take place until nine months after the majority of the habitat creation works have been completed - in accordance with our planning condition. This means that the earliest start date for works through the cutting is January 2008.

Your readers may also be interested to know that plants have already started to colonise the site. Our ecology expert counted eight different species on site last week.

BOB MENZIES, Head of delivery - guided busway, Cambridgeshire County Council

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