Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Thursday, 9 April 2009 18:46 UK

New bridge agreements are signed

Impression of the new bridge
Work on the crossing linking Cardiff Bay and Penarth begins in the summer

An agreement pledging support for a new walking and cycling bridge have been signed by its backers.

The £5m construction across the River Ely will link Cardiff Bay and Penarth, completing a six-and-a-half mile (10.5km) circular walk.

The deal will see Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan councils set out their commitment to the project, along with the charity Sustrans.

It is providing £1.15m to the work, which is due to start this summer.

The bridge, which will be known as "Pont y Werin", which means "The People's Bridge", was put forward as part of the Sustrans' Connect2 project to create bridges and crossings at sites across Britain.

The scheme as a whole won £50m of funding from the Big Lottery Fund after a public vote.

River Ely between Cardiff Bay and Penarth

This will be a fantastic project and we are delighted it is moving ever closer
Coun Delme Bowen

Lee Waters, the national director for Sustrans Cymru said: "It's fantastic to sign the agreement which officially brings this scheme into the Big Lottery Funded Connect2 project.

"We know that in summer, around 5,000 people already use the rest of the circular route in the bay that this bridge will complete.

"These figures show just how popular the existing route is and we want to build on that to make walking and cycling the obvious choice for so many of our everyday journeys."

Links

The bridge is set to be completed in the summer of 2010, linking into Cardiff's existing network of cycle and walking routes.

The Vale of Glamorgan council is currently in consultation on how best to link the new bridge into communities around Penarth, including nearby Llandough hospital and Penarth's rail station.

A planning application to build the bridge has been submitted by civil engineers Dean and Dyball, also constructing the nearby £12.3M canoe slalom and water rafting centre, to Cardiff council.

Cardiff councillor Delme Bowen said: "We have had great feedback from cyclists and pedestrians about Pont y Werin being built and I know they are all as excited as I am about this bridge becoming a reality.

"This will be a fantastic project and we are delighted it is moving ever closer."

Mr Bowen's counterpart on the Vale of Glamorgan council, Jeff James added: "This key connection for the people of the Vale and Cardiff will provide enjoyment and will link with cycle routes on both sides of the bridge providing easy and healthy travel options."

In addition to the cash being injected by Sustrans, the project has won £1.6m in backing from the assembly government, a further £1.3m from Cardiff council, and £250,000 from the city's harbour authority.



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