6 September 2012
Cyclists and pedestrians using the Bridgewater Canal towpath are to benefit from a £1.5 million funding boost, after a successful bid for funding by Trafford Council and Transport for Greater Manchester to deliver the next three phases of the Bridgewater Way.
The grant, from the Department for Transport's Local Sustainable Transport Fund, will pay for upgrades to another five miles of the Trafford towpath and a number of improvements to access points and routes to the canal over the next couple of years. The grant builds on a number of other sources of funding secured locally in recent months, including a £132,000 grant from the Trafford Partnership. Together, these sources of funding will enable the delivery of the sections of towpath between Brooklands and Broadheath, through Trafford Park and to Manchester United. This will build on the recent work by Trafford Council, Peel and the sustainable transport charity Sustrans, which has put in place a major upgrade to around three miles of the canal tow path between Sale and Stretford. This has been hugely successful and has seen a massive increase in the numbers of walkers and cyclists using the towpath.
Executive Councillor Alan Mitchell said: "The Bridgewater Way is a fantastic resource for local people. I would encourage everyone to get active - on foot or on their bikes - and explore this great route for travelling to work, the shops, or the school run, or just to get out and enjoy the great outdoors! I am looking forward to the opportunity to walk and cycle much further on the Bridgewater Way as it expands thanks to the new funding we have secured."
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: "This is a great example of the improvements we're going to be delivering across Greater Manchester through our LSTF programme to encourage more people to take up active ways of travelling. The work that's already been done to improve the Bridgewater Way towpaths has proved to be really successful, so this latest investment will build on that and I look forward to the work getting under way soon."
Louise Morrissey, Director of Land & Planning at Peel said: "We are delighted the bid for funding for the next phases of work in Trafford has been successful. We hope the completed towpath will be a great benefit for the area by opening up the canal corridor and allowing for more use by the local community, pedestrians and cyclists."
This is all part of a much wider Bridgewater Way project which ultimately hopes to improve the Bridgewater canal tow path along its entire 39 mile length from Runcorn to Manchester and Leigh.