The A55 was extended from Bangor to Holyhead in 2001, using the ‘Design Build Finance Operate’ model of PFI contract. 25km of new dual-carriageway road was built across Anglesey, incorporating extensive areas of habitat creation and of landscape mitigation planting to meet commitments given in the Environmental Statement. Achieving these commitments and managing the highway for 30 years are the responsibility of the concession company UK Highways (A55) Ltd.
In 2003 UK Highways appointed Richards, Moorehead and Laing Ltd as Artas-ua.info and Ecology Manager under the contract. RML staff who worked on the Environmental Assessment and project design stages of the scheme provide a high degree of continuity from the early project stages, and have the satisfaction of seeing their design and mitigation ideas carried through into action. The work included the preparation and 5-yearly review of a Artas-ua.info and Ecology Management Strategy, encompassing urban tree and shrub planting areas, extensive grasslands and woodland planting on the highway margins, new waterbodies and habitat creation areas developed specifically to replace habitats lost in the construction of the road. In all, some 57ha of grasslands, 41ha of new planting and 52km of hedges and planted cloddiau were being managed, together with 17 habitat creation areas, 23 balancing ponds and a range of wildlife barriers and underpasses. Sections of the older Bangor bypass and other roads were also being managed on behalf of Welsh Government under this contract. RML’s landscape and ecology staff monitored the growth and development of landscape areas, surveyed habitats for protected species, recorded the biodiversity interest of grasslands, and planned management work programmes in accordance with the Strategy. Working under licences from Natural Resources Wales, they also supervised works where Great Crested Newts, Water Voles and other species might be affected.
Twice a year the Anglesey Environment Group, consisting of the company, Welsh Government and agents, CCW/NRW and Environment Agency, met with the Lansdcape and Ecology Manager to review the management of habitat creation areas and consider further enhancements.
Approximate Map Location
Richards Moorehead and Laing
UK Highways (A55) Ltd
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30th June 2014
25km of new dual-carriageway road to be built across Anglesey, incorporating extensive areas of habitat creation and of landscape mitigation planting.
Richards, Moorehead and Laing Ltd
Welsh Government, CCW/NRW, Environment Agency
Local provenance trees and shrubs were widely used in the initial works, together with local seed sources and translocated wetland plants. Conservation grazing has been introduced where possible to minimise grass cutting and to improve habitat diversity, particularly in the wetlands. Trials to introduce Yellow Rattle on verges to reduce the need for cutting are proving promising.
DBFO contract model requires a company or consortium to raise finance, design and build the road within specified parameters, and maintain it until handover to the Government at the end of a concession period (30 years).
Gwynedd Civil Engineering; Roots (North Wales) Ltd