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A £190,000 bridge for dormice to safely cross the road was brought down in a storm
A hard-up council built the bridge over a new by-pass road for the dormice to "protect local ecology" around the country-side road. But it was brought down during a storm two years ago leaving the protected mice at the mercy of the busy road.
Wildlife campaigners are calling for the special bridge to be rebuilt – but critics have called it "completely absurd".
Critics say the money splurged on bridges protecting the dormice from could be spent on better things.
Rose Revera, of The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, said: "Dormice are easily predated upon, they tend to travel in the tops of trees. "If a road goes through a wood or shrub land it causes a huge barrier they cannot cross.
The bridge was built for the dormice to "protect local ecology"
If they are not able to move they are more vulnerable
Rose Revera – The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales
"If they are not able to move they are more vulnerable".
Labour-controlled Rhondda Cynon Taff put up the three dormice bridges on the Church Village by-pass near Pontypridd, South Wales, in 2010 – made out of wire mesh tubes suspended between trees and tall poles.
But one fell down two years ago and new plans has been sent to environment agency chiefs at Natural Resources Wales to help the dormice.
The bridge is made out of wire mesh tubes
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However the Taxpayers Alliance slammed spending £190,000 on the bridges in the first place – and spending another £63,000 on the project was "completely absurd".
Chief executive John O'Connell, said: "When the council should have been looking to cut out waste and find savings, local taxpayers have every right to question how this was ever signed off.
"Their intentions might have been good but £190,000 is a huge sum of money and surely the council could have found far-cheaper ways of doing the same thing."
The Taxpayers Alliance slammed spending £190,000 on the bridges in the first place
But a spokesman for the Countryside Council Wales said: "Dormice are threatened, hence the highest level of protection afforded to them via the EU Habitats Directive and the special treatment required in this instance.
"The EU legislation places on the council an obligation to protect the dormice."
A spokeswoman for Rhondda Cynon Taf council said: "Council engineers and ecological specialists have formed a proposal which is currently being considered by NRW."