One year on and a step ahead for Shoreham's walking and cycling network

It's nearly one year since Sustrans' Connect2 won the TV vote to bring £50million from the Big Lottery Fund to 79 communities across the UK to create networks for everyday journeys for people travelling by foot or bike.

Earlier in December 2008, the multi-million pound project to replace and widen the Shoreham Harbour footbridge to provide a quick and convenient crossing for walkers and cyclists into a new network of paths, came now a step closer as sustainable transport charity Sustrans and its Connect2 partners at West Sussex District Council prepare to sign the paperwork that will guide the development of the scheme for the coming years.

This Memorandum of Understanding will confirm partners' continued commitment to the project and pledges £770,000 from Sustrans' Connect2 lottery grant to the scheme which will pedestrianise part of the town centre and complete a promenade from the railway station down to the sea front.

Since the vote, a project manager has been appointed by West Sussex County Council to ensure the smooth delivery of the scheme over the coming years. A steering committee, with representatives from the council's engineering teams, Cllr Clive Williams and Sustrans' regional director, will meet regularly to guide the scheme's development over the coming years.

Over the next few years the new bridge will be designed and built as well as the work to improve the walking and cycling path from Shoreham Beach through the town centre to Shoreham by Sea railway station. The new bridge is expected to be completed in 2012.

Sustrans' Regional Director, Simon Pratt says: "Shoreham's community came out in force in all their 20s outfits last December to support the proposals to re-establish the footbridge in the harbour and its series of links across the town. I am delighted that the plans for the route are progressing, and the community's support means that when it is opened, it will be well used and appreciated by all."

Derek Whittington, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport said: "I hope we can continue to work in partnership to make significant progress on this exciting and ambitious project which will be such an important part of NCN2, the South Coast Cycle route. The County Council is fully committed to making the scheme a reality."

This scheme has been made possible through the enormous popular support for Sustrans' Connect2 - as voted for by the public in the UK's largest lottery competition last December.
The anticipated cost of the Shoreham scheme is in excess of £4million, with £770,000 coming from the Big Lottery Fund as part of Sustrans Connect2.

The lottery award will be added to locally sourced match-funding to transform local travel in 79 communities throughout the UK - changing the lives of six million people who live within a mile of a scheme. Over the next five years, nearly £30 million will be invested annually in creating these local walking and cycling networks from Devon to Perthshire.

Sustrans is the UK's leading sustainable transport charity. Its vision is a world in which people choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment. It is achieving this through innovative but practical solutions to the UK's transport challenges.
§ Sustrans' flagship project, the National Cycle Network, is now around 12,000 miles and runs within one mile of 55 per cent of the UK population. During 2007 over 354 million trips were made on the Network. There are around 2,500 rangers helping to look after the National Cycle Network.
Sustrans' Connect2 is a UK-wide project that will transform local travel in 79 communities by creating new bridges and crossings to overcome busy roads, rivers and railways, and linking these to networks of walking and cycling routes. As a result millions of people will be able to walk and cycle more for everyday journeys.
Sustrans' Connect2 won £50 million from the Big Lottery Fund's Living Landmarks: The People's Millions as a result of a public vote televised on ITV1 in December 2007.
Connect2 is a £142 million scheme - £50 million from the largest ever single lottery grant - and the remaining millions in match funding for individual projects.
The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. It was established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.

Source: Sustrans