Vote to secure bridge funds

THE people of St Neots are being called into action next week to help win the town a share of £50million of funding. The cash windfall would pay for a new cycle and foot bridge over the River Great Ouse, but only if the town gets voting for the project. A

THE people of St Neots are being called into action next week to help win the town a share of £50million of funding.

The cash windfall would pay for a new cycle and foot bridge over the River Great Ouse, but only if the town gets voting for the project.

As revealed in The Hunts Post at the beginning of October, the money is available as part of an ITV1 programme called The People's £50 Million Lottery Giveaway.

But to secure the cash the people of St Neots will need to get voting for the Connect2 project, an initiative organised by the sustainable transport charity, Sustrans.


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Online voting begins on Monday (November 26) and telephone voting will take place between December 7 and 10 - so make sure you make your vote count.

If successful, St Neots will get funding for a bridge that will link Eaton Socon and Eynesbury and help to revitalise walking and cycling in the town.

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Cllr Bob Eaton, town mayor, said it was time for St Neots to pull together and help secure funding for the bridge.

"I think it is a good idea," he said. "It is very much needed in the town and I would urge residents to vote for it."

Town councillor and former mayor, Paul Ursell, added: "All councillors are of one mind about this project: We all support it.

"We desperately need another point across the river. At the moment, children who attend St Neots Community College and live in Eaton Socon have either to use the A428 or go through the town centre to get to school.

"Because these are long routes parents tend to drive their kids to school. Another bridge would, hopefully, ease congestion and cut down on pollution."

The project, which is part of a larger scheme to improve cycle ways in 79 areas of the country, will be up against three other applications appearing on the televised competition.

One would allow the Eden Project to increase its green credentials through solar technology and recycling of rain water. The third would invest the money in protecting and enhancing Sherwood Forest, and the fourth would create the Black Country Urban Park.

However, as the Connect2 scheme has 79 projects in the UK, it is hoped the money could be heading its way and on to St Neots but only if you vote.

A spokesman for Sustrans said: "This project, with a new bridge over the River Great Ouse and a number of links, will provide for much shorter journeys and has the opportunity to bring about a real change in travelling patterns in this area.

"As well as being direct, the river and land either side are most attractive, so everyday journeys will become a pleasure; the route to the college will be easy and the bridge will become the focus of recreational routes of every kind."

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council added: "Voting for the Connect2 project is a vote for St Neots as well as improvements to cycle links in Royston and Wicken.

"This is free money from the lottery that could go to places such as Nottingham or Cornwall if we don't vote. The Connect2 project will not only help Cambridgeshire but more than 70 cycling and walking projects nationally."

INFORMATION: Online voting opens on November 26 on the website www.thepeoples50million.org.uk with telephone voting running from December 7-10.

The St Neots bridge project will be shown on ITV1 on December 4 at 11pm.

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