Exciting Wildlife-Friendly Bridge for A9 on show
Plans for a ‘green pathway’ on the Gelly overbridge to help protect wildlife around the A9 are on public display in Bankfoot today, Transport Minister Keith Brown has announced.
Located just north of the Perthshire town, the redesigned bridge will connect mixed woodland on both sides of the carriageway and is expected to attract and better protect species like pine martens, otters, deer and red squirrels.
The greener bridge forms part of the proposals to dual the A9 between Luncarty and Pass of Birnam.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said:
“We are getting on with dualling the A9 between Perth and Inverness – the first Government to commit to do so and have announced in the last few weeks details of three sections to be delivered earlier. This is in addition to our published proposals for the Luncarty to Pass of Birnam section, one of the most heavily used parts of Scotland’s longest trunk road.
“We are also committed to protecting Scotland’s rich and diverse environment and wildlife, and our proposals for the Gelly Overbridge are a tangible example of what we are doing to meet that commitment. It sits well alongside our ‘Fitting Landscapes’ guidance published last month which will ensure our wildlife and environment is better protected as we deliver the full A9 dualling programme.
“The enhancements to the bridge will provide a safer crossing point for some of Perthshire’s iconic species including pine martens, otters, deer and red squirrels. And features like a mammal tunnel and green verges which have been built into the design will encourage safer wildlife movements across the A9.
“These proposals are part of the exhibition material now on public display and I hope anyone with an interest takes the opportunity to view our proposals and provide their comments.”
Details of Luncarty to Pass of Birnam public exhibition:
Wednesday 2 April and Thursday 3 April, 11am – 7 pm, Bankfoot Church Centre, Tulliebelton Road, Bankfoot PH1 4BS
The exhibition material and other information on the A9 Dualling programme is available at: http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/road/projects/a9
During development of the proposed scheme design it was identified that the Gelly Overbridge would allow the two areas of commercial forestry on both sides of the A9 to be connected and may therefore potentially be used by pine marten and, as a result, reduce habitat fragmentation and risk of mortality (due to both the existing A9 and the proposed scheme). Mixed woodland planting is proposed on both sides of the carriageway at the overbridge location. This will increase the likelihood of pine martens using the bridge whilst providing habitat to compensate for the loss of woodland to make way for the additional carriageway.
The enhanced design of the Gelly Overbridge as part of the proposed scheme includes a widened green verge witih grasscrete* that may also enable its use by other species such as otter, deer and red squirrel, and may lead to a wider biodiversity enhancement.
* Grasscrete is a concrete grid with the voids infilled by grass.