Boost for walkers and cyclists as town wins share of £50m payout

More cycle and walkways in Kenilworth are to become reality after the Sustrans Connect2 scheme scooped the £50m funding this week.

The transport charity’s scheme triumphed over the Eden Project to claim the cash from the Big Lottery Fund’s Living Landmarks, The People's Millions. It was announced live on TV this week.

The money will be split between 79 schemes all over the UK. One of those projects will build on existing local efforts to upgrade the Kenilworth to Berkswell Greenway along the route of the disused railway line, but with the addition of a new walking/cycling route across to the university campus.

There will also be a safe pedestrian/cyclist crossing, probably a bridge, across the busy A429 Coventry Road.

Councillors John White-house, chairman of the local Connect2 steering group, and Ann Blacklock supported the bid.

Coun Blacklock said: “I am absolutely thrilled, it’s wonderful news. It will mean easier access for everyone and will have a great impact on the town.

“Locally everyone has worked hard on this and the Weekly News has done us proud as well. Thank you to everyone that voted for the scheme.”

Coun Whitehouse added: “I am tremendously pleased and very grateful to the people of Kenilworth and the university that supported us. Now the real Connect2 project can be turned into a reality.”

A 10-week campaign was launched to promote the scheme in the lead up to the final announcement.

John Grimshaw , founder and chief executive of Sustrans, said: “This is fantastic news and thanks to everyone who voted in the People’s 50 Million Lottery Giveaway, and for your help in winning 50 million of funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

“This really is an amazing achievement for our charity and the many local authority and other partners with whom we will work on Connect2. We simply couldn’t have done it without you and your votes.”

l Work will start on the Connect2 scheme in January 2008.