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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
Protest on sports village access
Cyclists' protest on Cogan Spur
Cyclists are unhappy lottery money could be used to pay for the bridge
Hundreds of cyclists have protested on a "dangerous" road about pedestrian and cycle access to the new International Sports Village in Cardiff.

Sunday's rally saw the cyclists ride across the Cogan Spur road which is one of the site's main access routes.

Protesters are unhappy that Cardiff council hopes to use lottery money to help pay for a 3.5m pedestrian and cycle bridge across the River Ely.

Cardiff council says its is "fully committed" to building the bridge.

The project, which would link Penarth with the International Sports Village, is one of several competing for a grant from the Big Lottery Fund's "living landmarks" competition.

A public TV vote will decide which project receives the lottery cash, which could be worth around 1.15m.

If successful, the bridge would also be funded by private and public funding, including, it is hoped, a contribution from the Vale of Glamorgan council.

But protesters at yesterday's rally, partly organised by Cardiff Friends of the Earth, want Cardiff council to give a firm commitment to pay for the bridge.

"They didn't fund the extensive road building around the sports village with lottery money," said protester Paul Kinnersley.

Cyclists' protests
Organisers say around 400 people took part in the protest

"Why are they prepared to spend money when it's infrastructure for cars, but not when it's for pedestrians, cyclists or people using public transport?

"That's bad enough for a shopping centre, but for a sports village it's a joke."

Organisers said around 400 cyclists, including families and children, took part in the protest and police stopped traffic to let them pass over the Cogan Spur road.

Pedestrians are currently banned from Cogun Spur, which is one of the main access routes to the sports village development, and Friends of the Earth say the road is also too dangerous for most cyclists.

Cardiff council said it was committed to building the bridge. If lottery funding was not available, it would try to find the funding elsewhere.

The council said the Harbour Authority had carried out a feasibility study with land allocated on both sides of the river.

The council will hear within the next 10 days whether the bridge has been shortlisted for the lottery grant. The overall winner will be announced later this year.

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