Underpass plan gets Lottery contest place

PUBLISHED: 14:47 25 October 2007 | UPDATED: 15:17 12 May 2010

Cllr Doug Drake

Cllr Doug Drake

A PROJECT to develop a rail underpass in Royston has been included in a massive £50 million Lottery television poll. And the plans to develop an underpass at Coombes Hole could receive a share of £700,000 towards the £3.5 million scheme. The scheme is par

A PROJECT to develop a rail underpass in Royston has been included in a massive £50 million Lottery television poll.

And the plans to develop an underpass at Coombes Hole could receive a share of £700,000 towards the £3.5 million scheme.

The scheme is part of a submission from the transport charity Connect2 which is looking for Lottery cash to help towards the cost of 79 projects across the country through the People's Millions giveaway.

Royston's county councillor Doug Drake said he was "delighted" that the project has the chance to gain Lottery funding.

The Connect2 package will be up against three other projects in the winner-takes-all contest.

Voting will be carried out in December through a dedicated phone line and online.

Cllr Drake said: "It will be up to the public votes to determine whether we can win over the three other contenders.

"It will be for the people of Royston and beyond to vote for the Connect2 project," he said.

Cllr Drake added: "We are depending on massive local support for the underpass to go ahead."

In announcing the shortlist for the voting contest, Sir Clive Booth, chairman of the Big Lottery Fund, described the event as "a truly ground-breaking initiative".

He said: "It gives everyone the opportunity to decide which of these highly deserving projects will receive funding through public vote."

John Grimshaw, Sustrans' chief executive, said he, too, was "delighted" in making the vote contest.

"With local communities we will be doing all we can to win the votes so that we can bring real and lasting change to the everyday lives of ordinary people," he said.

The need for a safe crossing of the railway track has been the subject of a number of campaigns over the past 25 years.

Earlier this month Herts County Council co-ordinated a publicity event to show the extent of the railway line acting as "the great divide" between the Burns Road development and the rest of the area.

Then Cllr Drake said: "This project started due to safety-to-school issues and illegal crossing of the railway line, but today it is even more important."

Work on building the underpass is expected to begin in December 2009

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