United Kingdom cyclists are set to benefit from a vote which won a £50 millon lottery grant for the UK Sustrans Connect 2 project. The project, which aims to improve cycling and walking facilities in 79 communities across the UK took home 42% of the total ballots cast, making it the biggest publicly decided award in UK history.
Sustrans is a sustainable transportation non-profit which plans to spend some £140 millon over the next five years on the project, which could benefit as many as six million people who live within one mile of the proposed routes. "The hard work starts now to build those bridges, tunnels, crossings and networks of paths," Sustrans CEO and founder John Grimshaw said. "There are 79 towns and settlements which are just going to be changed, I think, out of all recognition."
Some cycling projects, however, will suffer from the Sustrans project's victory. A project to improving 250 km of mountain bike trails and paths through the Sherwood Forest lost out, as did the Eden Project in Cornwall, which wanted to create a new building, and the Black Country Urban Park, which would have landscaped green spaces to link industrialised and deprived areas in the Midlands.