DEPUTY First Minister Ieuan Wyn-Jones AM officially opened Pont y Werin, the ‘Bridge of the People’, on Wednesday (July 14).

A large crowd gathered to watch Mr Wyn-Jones cut the ribbon on the £4.6million bridge, which provides a link to Cardiff Bay from Penarth Marina over the Ely River.

The pedestrian and cycle bridge completes a circular off-road route which includes the Cardiff Bay Barrage Coast Path, and is designed with a 20 metre opening section to allow river traffic to pass.

Funding for the project came from the Welsh Assembly Government (£1.65m), Cardiff Council (£1.3m), sustainable transport charity Sustrans (£1.15m), Cardiff Harbour Authority (£250,000) and the Vale Council (£200,000).

Sustrans helped fund Pont y Werin using part of a £50 million award it received from the Big Lottery Fund in 2007, after winning a national TV vote on ITV1.

* COGAN Primary pupil Tim Burns helped unveil a new bench during the Pont y Werin ceremony.

The portrait bench in Penarth Marina features laser-cut outlines of 10-year-old Tim, as well as Vale-born Olympic cycling gold medallist Nicole Cooke and former St Cyres pupil and Paralympic gold medallist Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.

The youngster won a competition set by the Pont y Werin steering group, who asked residents to choose local heroes to appear on the bench.

A bench on the Cardiff side of Pont y Werin features Sybil Williams, founder member of Pedal Power, Cardiff Devils player Jason Stone and 10-year-old Mount Stuart Primary pupil Lydia Harris.

CYCLISTS who threatened to protest at the opening ceremony say they are now satisfied Vale Council chiefs are working to establish safe routes to Pont y Werin.

As reported in last week’s Penarth Times, the group planned to stage a demonstration if the council failed to commit to cycle and pedestrians paths at a meeting last week.

Marc Buehner, a cyclist from Penarth who is also a community representative on the Steering Committee for Pont y Werin, said: “The meeting went surprisingly well. The resident representatives all felt that, at least at this meeting, the Council could not have done more.

“However, it is clear that the Council only responded to our pressure, and that, as a consequence, we will have to keep the pressure up.”