Search for Welsh icons to 'sit' beside cycling bridge

Sustrans funded bridge due to open this spring

by Tom Henry   February 10, 2010  

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A cycling/walking bridge in Cardiff part funded by Sustrans is almost finished – but is looking for a few famous faces to sit at either end of it.

The Pont y Werin Bridge links Penarth with the International Sports Village at Cardiff Bay and is due to open in spring. The bridge will also provide the final link completing the Bay Edge Walkway and cycle route and connect it into the Vale of Glamorgan.

As part of the winning Sustrans Connect2 project the bridge will include two benches placed on each side of the bridge and will feature a portrait of three individuals on each bench. The three life-size local figures will be cut from sheet steel and installed behind, or in front of, a simple bench.

The Pont y Werin Steering Group, which includes local councillors, council officers, residents of Cardiff and Penarth, plus local cycling groups and representatives from Cardiff and Vale Coalition of the Disabled, now need the public's help to assist them in selecting six portrait people.

They can be a local person, hero, a famous face from Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, a sporting legend or a person from history. Suggestions so far include Shirley Bassey, Ryan Giggs and Roald Dahl – but you might be able to think of someone more appropriate.

Portrait Benches will soon appear all over the UK on newly created routes for pedestrians and cyclists using a £50million grant from the Big Lottery Fund. Each bench is unique to each Sustrans scheme, and each will reflect local culture, enhance the experience of people using the route and will create a focus for community activity that will help to improve the local environment. Seventy nine will be installed across the UK by 2013.

The Steering Group would like to hear ideas on who should be immortalised on the Pont y Werin Bridge. Nominating is easy, you can email your suggestions to votebench@cardiff.gov.uk or to votebench@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk.