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Canal Towpath Restoration

Good news for getting from A to B on foot or bicycle in UK's former industrial heartlands.

The Canal and River Trust has hatched a plan to turn neglected, inner-city towpaths into safe routes for walking and cycling. The proposal includes major upgrades to towpaths in former industrial heartlands such as Birmingham, Bradford and Wigan, as well as London.

The trust, which looks after 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, is seeking funding from the government and local authorities for the upgrades.

“Many of Britain’s historic canal towpaths saw a significant increase in usage during lockdown as people stayed local and discovered these green and blue linear parks on their doorstep,” said Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal and River Trust. “Post lockdown, for the 8 million people living by a canal, this trend has continued. There is a real opportunity to build upon this.”

He added: “The proposed improvements will support the government’s aims of making walking and cycling easier to access, and encouraging active travel.”


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