A NEW cycle way linking seven schools through Tawd Valley could be built without lighting – over fears it could impact on the local bat population.
The Lancashire County Council scheme aims to upgrade parts of the current pedestrian link through the Tawd Valley – while installing a new path and cycle link.
Plans currently show that the pathway route, on council land, will head north from Yeadon through the existing car park to the south of the library – leading into the Tawd Valley.
The pathway will include a direct link to the rear of West Lancs College as well as a separate link to the Inglewhite area, carrying on and linking with the Mill Street footpath, heading across Houghtons Road, finishing at Summer Street.
Planners say this will provide a link to schools, the Stanley Industrial Estate, the college and residential areas and improve access to Skem town centre.
But due to “issues of light encroaching onto bat foraging areas” and following the results of a light survey – limited forms of lighting may be allowed, if at all. Alternatives are now being considered by Lancashire County Council.
Environmentalist Pat Regan said: “All over the land people manage to ride their bikes and do it without affecting bats and any other species – this is of course called living in harmony with nature.
“Wildlife laws are in place for very good reason and primarily to protect species that we humans continue to threaten.”
Under UK law all bat species and their roosts are protected. It is illegal to intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats, damage or destroy a roosting place and to deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat.