Pigs fly at auction to raise cycle scheme cash
£200,000 raised for Two Tunnels cycle route
An auction of fibreglass pigs in Bath raised £200,000 for the proposed Two Tunnels cycle path last Friday night.
The King Bladud's Pigs project saw 105 pigs decorated by local artists and children placed around the city of Bath, each pig was sponsored by a local business at an average of £1000 each. The pigs were on display throughout the summer in sites around Bath and the surrounding villages.
The Two Tunnels project aims to link the centre of Bath with the towns and villages to the south via Sustrans' NCN route 24 creating a valuable commuting route into the city, and also to loop round to the Kennet and Avon canal on NCN route 4 making a leisure cycling amenity for Bath residents and tourists. Most of the route follows the old Somerset and Dorset railway line out through the southern suburbs of Bath to the Midford valley, the route gets its name from two railway tunnels which would be re-opened as part of it, one of which is over a mile long and is the longest unventilated tunnel in Britain.
As well as King Bladud's Pigs money for the Two Tunnels scheme has come from the lottery, local government and local businesses. Preliminary work on the route is expected to start in early 2009.
According to legend Bladud was exiled from the royal court when he caught leprosy, he eked out a living as a swineherd and then noticed that his pigs were cured of leprosy when they bathed in the mud of a local spring. Cue turnaround in Bladud's fortunes, triumphant return to the royal court and his eventual founding of the kingdom of Bath - with him as king.