VOLES and otters will be able to pass safely under the guided busway thanks to a specially designed tunnel being built during construction work.

A 4.2m-wide by 3m-high tunnel, known as a culvert, is being constructed to carry Lilford Brook in Leigh and allow the busway to cross over it.

The culvert is now in place and includes a concrete ledge that will be half full of water and will allow water-based animals to pass under the busway.

The next stage is for it to be filled over with soil before the concrete guideway of the busway is laid along the route later this year.

Transport for Greater Manchester project manager Adam Price said: “We want to make sure that all wildlife continues to thrive and can move safely around the area.

“That’s why we’ve made sure the Lilford Brook culvert has a special ledge for small mammals to pass along.

“Alongside this we also have two special crossings at different points on the busway route that will allow amphibians to safely cross under the busway.”

TfGM says it is working closely with agencies such as the Forestry Commission, Natural England and the Environment Agency to make sure the works are sensitive to the needs of the area.