pounds 42m for cycleways

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The Independent Online
BRITAIN is to get a 6,000-mile traffic-free national cycle network thanks to the National Lottery, viewers of the lottery draw on BBC1 learned last night.

The scheme, brainchild of the Bristol-based civil engineering charity Sustrans, has been awarded pounds 42.5m of lottery cash by the Millennium Commission, the quango sponsoring projects to mark the arrival of the year 2000. It will cost pounds 100m in all.

The first group of 30 projects to be awarded funds from the commission's pounds 1.6bn will be announced tomorrow, but the BBC jumped the gun last night to reveal what is expected to be one of the largest awards. Viewers saw a cycle-shaped cheque for pounds 42.5m handed to the director of Sustrans, John Grimshaw, by the rock singer Meatloaf. The rest of the money will come from local authorities and donations.

The network of traffic-free cycle paths, traffic-calmed minor roads and carefully engineered urban cycle lanes will pass through almost every major population centre in the country. Its supporters believe it could have a huge beneficial impact on health, pollution, and road safety. The Department of Transport has promised special help to enable it to cross trunk roads.