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Road reopening halted by badgers

31 May 2007 - BBC News

Badgers have held up the reopening of the road Works to reopen the main road between Langholm and Lockerbie have been delayed by badgers. The B7068 was closed before Christmas after a landslide at Scroggs Bridge and lengthy diversions put in place. A council spokesman confirmed that work had ground to halt after a badger sett was found under the route of the works. Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell has voiced concerns that a project which should have taken weeks has now been ongoing for nearly six months. Works were forced to stop when the animals' underground home was discovered.

Dumfries and Galloway Council said it has had to work with Scottish Natural Heritage to rehouse the badgers. This has involved constructing a man-made sett in the hope that they will move home. "Until such time as it is deemed that all badger cubs have left the existing sett, we cannot excavate anywhere near where they live," confirmed local services group manager Ronnie Dempster.

However, Mr Mundell said that while he understood there had been problems with the works there was no excuse for the length of delay. "I appreciate that work was delayed because of the discovery of a badgers' sett and land ownership issues," he said. "But from an initial indication that the road would be closed for weeks it has now been months and currently there is no end date in sight. This is causing a lot of difficulties for individuals and local businesses, particularly hauliers, and also it is causing inconvenience for people living on the diverted traffic routes."

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