The countdown to register support for the city’s Connect 2 Derry~Londonderry greenway and cycle path scheme has commenced today.
The proposal for the network of greenways is one of 79 projects within the Sustran’s Connect 2 UK submission to the Big Lottery. Sustrans have asked all participating projects to seek support from local residents by registering their vote on www.sustransconnect2.org.uk. This will signal support for the concept and boost the potential of Connect 2 project being a successful finalist in the Big Lottery People’s Millions competition to be commence later in 2007.
Mayor Cllr Helen Quigley registering her vote of support said:
“The Connect 2 project aims to build a series of greenways and linking paths for pedestrians and cyclists which will converge on a proposed new foot and cycle bridge across the River. The network of paths will connect communities and provide safe, attractive and direct routes for walking and cycling. To be considered as part of the Sustrans Connect 2 national bid to the Big Lottery is fantastic and through public support for our local initiative we can boost our chance of Connect2 becoming a successful finalist in a nationwide competition for funding”.
Members of the Environmental Services Committee approved the initiative on Tuesday 08th May as it is an extended network as part of the Derry Cycling Forum Council 20 year Strategic Urban Route Network of Greenways across the city.
City Engineer, John Kelpie explained: “Of the 100km of planned routes, 40km of high quality urban network has been delivered to date. The epicentre of this vision is to link both the Craigavon and Foyle Bridge together on the east bank of the Foyle and the delivery of a cross-river link from Ebrington to the Guildhall. This is a great opportunity for the city to be become a flagship project within the Sutrans’ bid”.
Bill Kirk, Chief Executive of Ilex encouraged everyone to lend their support and said: "The Connect 2 project is a wonderful opportunity to extend the city's greenways by putting prime riverside lands into public use. I would encourage everyone to play their part in ensuring the project becomes a reality by casting their vote on the Sustrans site".
Council and Ilex have submitted their proposal to Sustrans Connect 2 as one of six nationwide projects approved by the by The Big Lottery Fund under their Living Landmark Peoples Millions Programme. Sustrans have applied for £50 million under this programme to deliver 79 practical projects across the 10 regions including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Big Lottery will be hosting a televised nationwide vote in December 2007 to showcase the six nationwide projects. The project that secures the overall winning vote secures the Big Lottery Grant Award. If Sustrans win the overall vote, Derry City Council will receive a grant in excess of 1 million pounds towards Derry’s local initiative.
Registering support online is the priority request for May and many thanks to Central Library who have opened their doors and free internet service for registered library users to ensure votes can be cast.
When logging-on to www.sustransconnect2.org.uk please follow the steps of clicking on “find a project”, then type in Derry, click view the project and then pledge your support