Voting for the Big Lottery Fund’s The People’s £50 million Contest begins on Monday, November 26th. Sustrans will compete with three other finalists for the ‘winner takes all’ prize.
The vote - by text and via a website - will choose between the Sustrans project, which is truly national, and three more localised projects. The pros and cons of each project are given here, with Connect2 being listed as the clear winner (except, a-hem, for the choice of Lorraine Kelly as the project's champion).
"Victory for Sustrans’ Connect2 bid would make everyday journeys easier for 79 communities throughout the UK," said a statement from Sustrans.
To publicise the opening of the public poll Sustrans is staging press launches at three UK locations. The biggest gathering will place on the Trevithick Trail on Sunday. Various forms of traffic-free travel will be on show as families and children get joined by Tydfil the Tortoise – Merthyr Tydfil’s road safety mascot - on a three-mile round trip on the trail, which will be enhanced by a new bridge if Connect2 wins.
Other supporters will pedal 14 miles along the Trevithick and Taff trails to the Treforest Scheme – with some planning to continue an additional eight miles to the Ely River Connection Scheme in Cardiff.
People can vote by logging on to www.thepeoples50million.org.uk from Monday at 9am. They can also text 80010 to be sent the telephone voting number when it gets announced and look out for a programme about Connect2 on ITV1 in early December. It's meant to be on December 4th but this could change.