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23 October 2007

Bridgewater Way Sale Section in the Running for £50 Million TV vote, as Part of Sustrans’ Connect2 bid

A major project to get millions of people walking and cycling in the Greater Manchester area came a step closer today as Sustrans’ Connect2 Lottery bid entered the ultimate stage of the Big Lottery Fund’s: The People’s £50 Million contest. The final shortlist was announced today and TV presenter Lorraine Kelly and former minister Charles Clarke will lead the sustainable transport charity’s bid to transform local travel opportunities in Sale and across the UK. Adam Hart Davies, Wayne Hemingway and Ken Livingstone are among other high-profile supporters.

If the Connect 2 bid is successful the Bridgewater Way will receive funding for works to the Sale section of the Bridgewater Way to be undertaken. The funding would particularly concentrate on improving the quality and number of access points to the route as well as improving the surface of the towpath itself.

Four organisations, including ‘Sustrans’ Connect2 project, are competing for the £50 million grant to be decided by public vote on ITV1 in December. Each project will be the subject of a television programme on ITV1 in the week commencing 3 December. Sustrans' Connect2 will be featured on Tuesday 4 December. Full programme details will be released in mid November. Voting will take place online and by phone vote following the TV shows. Online voting for The People’s £50 Million Lottery Giveaway will open at 9am on 26 November at www.thepeoples50million.org.uk . Telephone voting will be over the weekend 7-10 December.*

Connect2 will improve local travel in 79 communities across the UK by building walking and cycling bridges and tunnels, developing links, and even re-instating a ferry. Connect2 will also bring people closer together by making journeys quicker, healthier and more convenient.

From cyclists and leisure walkers to commuters and schoolchildren, everyone will have a better quality of life thanks to Connect2. Across the UK six million people live within a mile of the proposed schemes, including one million schoolchildren. It is estimated that 79,000 tonnes of carbon emissions could be saved annually once the schemes are completed.

Lorraine Kelly: “I meet so many people from all walks of life and I find one thing affects us all, travel. How many times have we stood on the edge of a busy road waiting for the traffic to ease or had to travel miles out of our way to get to the one bridge over the river? Connect2 deals with just these daily challenges and gives us the option to do the journey in a way that helps the environment. And, of course, it gets us fit - forget the gym, Connect2 is the answer to our obesity problems”.

Sustrans’ CEO John Grimshaw said, “Three years ago the National Cycle Network was voted Britain’s favourite large-scale, lottery-funded project. Connect2 will build on the NCN and provide local opportunities for people to combat two of the most pressing issues facing us - obesity and climate change. We ask anyone who would like to see local travel transformed across the UK to vote for Connect2 in December.”

Councillor Pennington, Chairman of the Bridgewater Canal Trust said, “The Bridgewater Way is delighted to be part of Sustrans Connect 2 Big Lottery Fund bid. The funding we would receive would once again allow people to access the canal side more readily and enjoy the beauty of the canal. We would ask local people to support Connect 2 this December”.

To find out more about Connect2, and to register support, visit www.sustransconnect2.org.uk or text Connect2 to 80010

*ITV reserve the right to change schedules.

                             

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