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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 14:26 GMT
Cycle routes win 50m public vote
Planned Treforest bridge
The Treforest bridge makes up part of the 50m winning bid
A scheme which will improve cycling and walking routes across Wales is part of a winning bid for 50m from the Big Lottery Fund.

It follows a massive telephone and internet vote by the public backing the Connect2 scheme put forward by the charity Sustrans.

The money will be spent on at least ten routes created across Wales, building bridges and crossing points.

The Sustrans bid beat off three other schemes in the public vote.

The winning Connect2 scheme includes a long-awaited pedestrian bridge between Cardiff and Penarth, two bridges over the River Wye at Monmouth and Tintern, a link between Newport and Caerleon, and, in north Wales, a bridge linking Rhyl and Kimnel Bay.

Altogether, 79 towns and cities across the UK will benefit.

What did it was that public support was terrific
Sir Clive Booth, Big Lottery Fund

Sustrans' founder John Grimshaw described the announcement as "fantastic".

"To say I am delighted is such an understatement," he said.

"It is fantastic for the 79 communities and many other partners and local authorities across the UK with whom we have been working for the last two years.

"Ultimately the real winners will be those millions of people who will now be able to Connect2 their shops, schools and workplaces and each other every day."

The Sustrans bid beat off competition from the Eden project, Sherwood forest and the Black Country urban park.

New routes

Also included in the winning bid for Wales are a riverside route for Carmarthen linking it to Johnstown, a pedestrian link between the University of Glamorgan sites at Treforest into the town of Pontypridd, a new route on the Afon Tawe bridge at Clydach, and new foot and cycle paths at Cwmafan and Afan Forest park for Port Talbot.

The bid will also see a path following the route of the world's first steam train to run successfully on rails, with the Trevithick Tail at Merthyr Tydfil's Penydarren tramway.

Sir Clive Booth, chair of the Big Lottery Fund which distributes lottery grant money, said Sustrans had won nearly half of all the votes cast in the competition broadcast by ITV.

"It really won hands-down. What did it was that public support was terrific," he said.

"Given there were four projects, getting half the vote was a big achievement.

"I think it has captured people's imaginations because it is going to affect their lives right across the UK."



SEE ALSO
Cycle paths scheme bids for 50m
07 Dec 07 |  South East Wales

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