The Millennium Dome is deemed to be unpopular (in fact, by the time the year is out, it will probably be the second most visited tourist attraction in Europe) and the other Millennium projects including the National Cycle Network are set to benefit from this perception

Doomed Dome benefits bikes

Before the Dome opened the fear was it would grab the lions share of the limelight, elbowing out the other Millennium Projects throughout the UK. It has been a media obession, but for all the wrong reasons.

Now that there is a real possibility the Dome could be scrapped before the end of the year the Millennium Commission is no longer claiming the Dome is the jewel in their crown. These days it crows that 75 percent of its £2 billion budget has gone on thousands of projects around the country.

The Commissions most ambitious supported project is, of course, the National Cycle Network and this is set to benefit from the Dome backlash. When the Network is launched next month it will be lauded as a major success story in comparison to the Dome, a transport infrastructure project which will benefit millions of people for many years.

The Bath to Bristol path sees 1.5 million journeys a year, one short route dwarfing most of the other Millennium projects.

Other major Millennium projects are based in one location and will benefit far fewer people. Projects such as the National Botanic Garden of Wales (170 000 visitors a year), Dynamic Earth of Edinburgh (434 000 visitors a year), and the Lowry in Salford (770 000 visitors a year) are undoubtedly major attractions but bean counters will soon be saying the best-value, the most far-ranging and the most beneficial Millennium Project is the one with two wheels in mind.


The main pic is of the Sustrans route map for the Newcastle to Edinburgh route. The cyclist on the right is Al Reid, the BikeBiz ad manager who also happens to be Carltons dad! On the left is Jean Reid, Carltons mum…

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