‘Wildlife-friendly’ A9 bridge plan unveiled

Cars on the A9 in Perthshire. Picture: TSPL
Cars on the A9 in Perthshire. Picture: TSPL
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PLANS for Scotland’s first wildlife-friendly bridge were announced for the A9 north of Perth today.

The crossing - designed to be half-road, half-vegetation - will span a new dual carriageway section of the road to help deer, pine martens, otters and red squirrels get across safely.

The proposed bridge. Picture: Transport Scotland

The proposed bridge. Picture: Transport Scotland

Designs for Gelly bridge, near Luncarty, show scrub vegetation covering half the width of the bridge, parallel to the vehicle lane.

These will be bordered by “grasscrete” verges - a concrete grid filled with grass.

The bridge will link two forests, with the extra trees to be planted beside the widened A9 there increasing the likelihood of pine martens using the bridge.

The design also includes a “mammal tunnel” to further protect wildlife.

The plans are on display today and tomorrow at the Bankfoot Church Centre in Tulliebelton Road, Bankfoot.

Transport minister Keith Brown said: “We are 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.