HEREFORD's hard-pressed commuters have long been betting on a new river bridge to ease their everyday woes. Now they could get lucky with lottery cash - but there's a catch.

Sustrans, Britain's top sustainable transport strategy charity, wants the bridge to get a point across, with only walkers and cyclists able to use it.

Public backing for the scheme is crucial because the bid will be decided by the strongest show of local support - on TV in a few months' time.

So far, more than 250 people have gone on-line with Sustrans to back the bid.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council cabinet member for transport, is among those sold on the idea, which was first raised in 2005.

He told the Hereford Times the scheme addressed a "long-established need" for a walking and cycling commuter route to Rotherwas and beyond.

Council backing for the bridge doesn't put the brakes on a new road crossing for Rotherwas.

As reported by the Hereford Times recently, the cost of a road crossing could be covered by developer contributions under the proposed "Builder Pays" scheme.

Jon Usher, regional manager for Sustrans, said the eco-bridge meant many of Hereford's commuters could use their feet - either pushing pedals or putting one in front of the other - to make everyday journeys. Or at least think about doing it.

Sustrans is pitching the bridge as part of its UK-wide Connect2 programme, one of the projects up for a single multi-million grant from the Big Lottery's Living Landmarks competition. The winner will be decided by a public TV vote.

l Support for the bridge or comments can be registered on 08450 581373 or at by April 23.