Street lights glow red to help bats cross the road

The Canary

A stretch of “bat-friendly” street lighting has been switched on in what is believed to be a UK first.

The LED lights, which emit a red glow, will provide bats with a 60-metre-wide crossing area on the A4440, near to Worcester’s Warndon Wood nature reserve.

Worcestershire County Council has described the lighting as an innovative approach to a much-needed highway crossing with a greatly reduced impact on local wildlife.

It said research shows some species of bat are light shy and will not cross roads lit by white lights, which can stop them accessing food supplies and water.

Standard street lights also attract insects bats feed on, reducing the food available in their typical feeding areas.

Bat
Bats are often light-averse, meaning they will not cross roads to reach food and water supplies (PA)

The lighting scheme is being installed in two phases of work, to ensure the safety of road users, and also features a crossing suitable for pedestrians and cyclists accessing the Worcester Six Business Park.

Councillor Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for the economy and infrastructure, said: “These ground-breaking lights are a great example where we have been able to adapt the usual standards to better suit the local environment.

“The crossing itself will very much benefit those travelling between the city centre and the business park.

“The adapted lighting being used may look a little different at first, but we’d like to assure those using the area at night that the colour of the lights has been through stringent testing and adheres to all safety checks.”

Visibility for drivers and pedestrians is not affected by the red light and the scheme is fully compliant with the required standards, the council has said.

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us