I WRITE in response to the letter from Jennifer Greenwood concerning her opposition to the proposed green bridge over the Aire Valley trunk road (could traffic lights be the answer, Craven Herald letters, March 16).

Green bridges are rare in this country – I think we only have three of them. The Netherlands and Belgium on the other hand have over 600 between them, because they are very keen that their green infrastructure is not compromised by busy dual carriageways or main line railways.

Similar criticism can be levelled at Smart Motorways – an oxymoron if ever they was one. Wildlife had a sporting chance of getting across motorways when there was a way through the centre reservation. Now there’s a wall, have you seen the number of dead little mammals who didn’t make it across the road?

Whilst I accept that building such bridges is not cheap, we can estimate the value they bring to our landscapes. The UK has the lowest tree cover of any country in Europe and is also the most nature deficient. Surely it’s time we stepped up to the plate and started to remedy this embarrassing situation?

Green bridges can make a valuable contribution to this, and I personally am very pleased that the bridge has at last got the go ahead.


Dr Alan Simson Professor of Landscape Architecture Urban Forestry

Chair White Rose Community Forest.