£1.8m improvements for canal towpaths across West Yorkshire

Plans for nearly £2m of work to help improve canal towpaths in West Yorkshire are set to go before the public this week.
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West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) has today launched a four-week public consultation on plans for £1.86m of improvements parts of West Yorkshire’s canal towpath network, to help more people to travel by bike or on foot.

Plans include resurfacing and widening parts of the towpaths at the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

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Along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, there are plans to improve sections of towpath between Apperley Bridge and Shipley, as well as between Silsden and the West Yorkshire border, towards Kildwick.

The Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath is set for improvements.The Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath is set for improvements.
The Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath is set for improvements.

Coun Kim Groves, chair of WYCA’s Transport Committee, said: “We’re pleased to be working in partnership with Canal & River Trust, as well as Kirklees Council and Bradford Council, to continue to develop and improve the canal towpath network across West Yorkshire, providing people travelling by bike or on foot with safe, scenic traffic-free routes.

“As well as providing missing links in local cycling and walking infrastructure, these improvements are helping open up access to some of our best countryside.”

Sean McGinley, regional director for Canal & River Trust, said: “During lockdown we saw a significant increase in the numbers of people using the towpaths, demonstrating the importance of the canal network as a blue-green space on the doorstep.

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“Improving these sections of the towpath will help towards our goal of a joined-up towpath network, giving local people better access to the many benefits of spending time beside water, whether for a place to keep fit or simply a quiet place to de-stress.”

The £1.86m costs will be covered by £500,000 from Bradford Council’s Getting Building Fund, while WYCA wants to secure the rest of the money from the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1billion package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs.

The plans are available to view online at: www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/canals – people are invited to comment before the consultation ends on Sunday 20 December 2020.