The Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council in South Wales is sure to figure in the good books of PETA and other animal welfare organizations across the world. However, the same cannot be said of the county’s taxpaying citizens who are left fuming after the cash strapped council splurged £190,000 ($295,000) on building a bridge to allow Dormice to cross the road safely! The bridge comprises three-wire walkways, which have been erected above a new bypass to protect the rodent population. The interconnecting passages suspended from 20ft wooden poles will help keep the mice away from the road. The council defends their decision and stands by this project by stating that this bridge will keep mice away from traffic when the full £90 million ($139.8 million) Church Village bypass between Pontypridd and Talbot Green opens next month. What is more, the council has even dug new ponds for the relocation of newts and other amphibians. However, critics have termed the project’s cost as ‘obscene’ and even accused the council of getting its priorities wrong.
But there are some who stand by the council’s project, like Byron Bowden, 27, who lives in the same village, who says, ‘Everybody talks about being greener, but when we finally are, people moan.’ It is also interesting to know that the unique Dormice bypass was first proposed more than 20 years ago, but was only given planning consent in 2006.