Cycling charity surprised with National Lottery award for work on Pont y Werin
3:02pm Wednesday 21st August 2013 in Penarth news
RIDERS and representatives of a national cycle charity were at Pont y Werin bridge yesterday morning to celebrate new national cycle routes – but they were surprised by TV presenter Kate Humble after the bridge won an environmental award from the National Lottery.
The TV wildlife presenter congratulated staff and supporters of Sustrans’ Connect2 after the charity saw off stiff competition to win more than 10,000 public votes, crowing it the nation’s favourite environment project in this year’s National Lottery Awards.
Kate presented the award to Sustrans chief executive Malcolm Shephard,on the local bridge over the River Ely, which connects Penarth to Cardiff Bay.
Kate said: “Connect2 has enabled millions of people across the UK to make everyday journeys by foot or by bike, helping them to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys.”
Mr Shepherd, said it was a pleasant surprise to see the TV personality. “I’m so thrilled to be holding this award,” he added.
“National Lottery funding has allowed us to undertake this ambitious project and it was only made possible through people buying Lottery tickets.
“The award is also fantastic public recognition of the many hundreds of people who have worked or volunteered in their local communities to help deliver this award-winning project.
“To show our gratitude to these local communities, Sustrans will use the prize money in addition to other funds, to award local grants to the communities near the routes who have helped make cycling and walking easier and safer.”
Sustrans had organised to meet on Pont y Werin – estimated at carrying half-a-million cyclists every year – to mark the Cardiff leg of their Pedal on UK, 1,000-mile UK-wide, cycle tour. More than 80 new walking and cycling networks have been extended into the heart of communities by the charity.
David Melding AM for the South Wales Central region was among those present. He said: “Pont-y-Werin is an outstanding example of how we should use infrastructure to promote healthier lifestyles. It is truly something to celebrate on foot or bike.”
But Cardiff Cycling Campaign say Sustrans let walkers and cyclists down over poor links to Pont y Werin.
Penarth resident Max Wallis said: “The whole project falls far short of peoples' expectations over the lottery bid. The bridge provides an off-road short cut, but not an attractive cycling/walking route as a whole.”