Wales’ deputy first minister Ieuan Wyn Jones opened Pont Y Werin on Wednesday (July 14th) – a new bridge for cyclists and pedestrians, linking Cardiff with Penarth across the River Ely.
Pont Y Werin translates as ‘people’s bridge’.
The opening is the culmination of a three-year project between Cardiff Council, the Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff Harbour Authority, the Vale of Glamorgan Council and a grant from Sustrans, through the Big Lottery Fund.
"This bridge is a great achievement and a vital transport connection for the city," said Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans chief exec. "It shows that Cardiff is really looking to a more sustainable future where people can choose to leave their cars at home for short local journeys and get around safely and easily on foot or by bike."
Commenting on the opening of the bridge, the deputy first minister said: “As we celebrate the third anniversary of the One Wales programme of Government, this investment outlines our commitment to delivering a truly sustainable transport system for Wales and provide people with alternatives to using the car.
"Encouraging more people walk and cycle across Wales will help reduce their dependence on the car, and contribute to cutting CO2 emissions. We are all aware of the need to reduce our carbon footprint, and walking and cycling instead of driving can help to make a real difference."
Cllr Jeff James, the Vale Council’s Cabinet Member for planning and transportation, said: "The opening of Pont y Werin, after years of campaigning and planning, represents a significant achievement and a positive milestone in promoting sustainable links between Cardiff and Penarth.
"I hope that Pont y Werin is a focus of attraction for visitors and a matter of pride for the people of Cardiff and the Vale, and provides an ‘uplifting’ experience for all the cyclists and pedestrians who use it."
Jan Reed, of the Big Lottery Fund’s Wales committee, added: "The Big Lottery Fund’s Living Landmarks programme allowed the public to decide how this funding was invested. It’s wonderful to see £1.15 million supporting a project that not only transforms the way in which local communities get around but also promotes healthy living. It is yet another demonstration of how BIG involves lottery players in deciding how lottery money is invested in Wales."
Susrans won £50 million through the Big Lottery Fund after the scheme won the People’s Millons Lottery context on ITV1 in December 2007. The Pont Y Werin (pictured here during construction) saw some of this cash.