Sustrans win £50 million for walking and cycling

Sustrans’ UK-wide Connect2 bid to transform local travel – bringing huge health and environmental benefits – has won the public vote in the Big Lottery Fund’s: The People’s £50 Million contest.

Sustrans’ John Grimshaw said: “We are immensely grateful to everyone who got behind Connect2 to make their votes count."

Nationally Sustrans Connect2 bid will build 54 new walking and cycling bridges, and renew and restore 58 more, enabling people to cross busy roads, rivers and railways, and would also create newfoot and cycle paths, and even reinstate a ferry (the Blyth Ferry Northumberland), for 79 communities - giving people easier and healthier access to their schools, workplaces, shops, parks and countryside.

In Northern Ireland, businesspeople, families and schools are welcoming Connect2 travel links for six communities including to enable children to safely cross the river to walk to school in Newtonabbey, communities on the east and west of the Derry-Londonderry to be connected, and make use of former MoD land in Omagh, for a path and new bridges in St. Patricks Park.

In Scotland, four schemes including an iconic crossing linking Perth to Scone over the beautiful River Tay meaning pedestrians and cyclists could avoid busy traffic, and giving improved disabled access for service users of Capability Scotland. Disabled people have also campaigned hard for the planned Connect2 completion of the half-finished Bridge to Nowhere above the M8.In Wales there are eleven schemes including a popular plan to build a bridge spanning Cardiff Bay, and schemes for Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Camarthen.

In England Connect2 would help both urban and rural communities. Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Carlisle, Hastings, Everton Park-Liverpool, London, Stockport, Norwich, Rugby, Scunthorpe, and Worcester are among towns and cities that would see walking and cycling made easier. Communities including in Bath, Brompton-on-Swale, Cambridge, Harrogate, Norwich Southampton would enjoy much improved access to neighbouring countryside and riverside routes. Schemes in London include a traffic-free connection between Southwark and Lewisham, a route from Bethnal Green to the Olympic Park, and new routes for Islington, including to the Emirates Stadium, as well as schemes in Croydon, Havering and Paddington.