GREAT crested newts will get their very own crossings to allow them safe passage under the new guided busway.

When work begins shortly to drain flooded land near the future Cooling Lane busway stop and pathway between Higher Folds and Tyldesley, purpose-built ponds will be created for wildlife on either side of the busway while some of the land will be returned to a grazing area for horses.

A special amphibian crossing tunnel will be built underneath the busway in the spring from the Cooling Lane pond which wildlife will be guided to use by special fencing while the new ponds will be planted with a range of aquatic plants and constructed to provide ideal conditions for breeding newts.

Transport for Greater Manchester and Balfour Beatty are working with ecologists to carry out the work under license from Natural England.

TfGM’s head of Programme Management Services, Peter Boulton, said: “The Cooling Lane area is popular with wildlife enthusiasts and well-used by local walkers and we want it to stay that way.

“The new ponds, grazing area and special tunnels under the busway will all make sure wildlife continues to thrive and can move safely around the area.

“Our environmental commitment is central to the busway project and we are working closely with agencies like the Forestry Commission, Natural England and the Environment Agency to make sure everything we do is sensitive to the needs of the area.”

The tunnel will be laid in a trench before the busway is constructed over it.

A spokesman for TfGM said before construction work began last year, newt populations along the busway were safely relocated and additional newt fencing will be installed to ensure newts remain outside of any construction areas when they emerge from hibernation in spring.