Highways England has issued a Project Update. A strange, unnecessary document, intended to show they’re still busy. They say they’ll be counting butterflies and monitoring bats, barn owls, badgers, otters, and water voles, because “knowing exactly where plants, animals, and habitats are now is vital to make sure we protect them in the future and avoid or reduce our impact on them. This will help us in our plans to improve biodiversity in the area.

So how will scraping a mile of new dual carriageway through the landscape avoid or reduce the impact on plants and animals? The only person who has so far achieved that is Grant Shapps, by delaying the project! As for their plan to “improve biodiversity in the area” we’d like to humbly suggest that’s baloney.

Highways England is a road organ, not a conservation agency and they really shouldn’t pretend otherwise. Our friend thinks he saw two Camberwell Beauties this month right on the line of the proposed road. What if it turned out they were part of England’s only breeding colony of them? Could we rely on Highways England to protect them?