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.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.