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Friday, March 7, 2014

Work starts on canal towpath facelift

* Work in progress on one section of the towpath between Llangollen
Wharf and the Motor Museum. Picture courtesy of Mike Edwards.
A historic canal towpath is undergoing a makeover this month as part of plans to make it easier for walkers, boaters, cyclists and a traditional horse-drawn boat to use.

Gland┼Ár Cymru, the Canal & River Trust in Wales, is repairing 1,500 metres of towpath along the Llangollen Canal so that the route can continue to be enjoyed by visitors throughout the year.

The £220,000 project has been made possible thanks to funding from the Welsh Government’s sustainable transport programme, TAITH, and support from Denbighshire County Council and Sustrans Cymru.

The works include widening and resurfacing the towpath along the World Heritage Site between Horseshoe Waterfalls and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, adding to the 16km of towpath that have already been improved.

The towpath will be closed throughout the works, which are expected to take approximately six weeks to complete.

Jim Forrester, chair of the Canal & River Trust’s North Wales & Borders Partnership, said: “The Llangollen Canal is one of the most visited canals in Britain and these improvements are vital because of the high number of visitors who use the towpath everyday. We want to ensure our canals in Wales are suitable for everyone to enjoy the beautiful scenery, wildlife and the 200 year-old canal network.”

Councillor Huw Jones, Denbighshire's Cabinet Lead Member for Tourism, said: "The council is delighted to be supporting this work as we see the canal as one of the Dee Valley's most valuable assets from a tourism perspective. It is vital that we work with our partners to make sure the infrastructure is in place to enhance our tourism offer and provide visitors with a pleasurable experience when visiting our waterways."

Glyn Evans, North Wales Area Manager for transport organisation Sustrans, said: “We want to make sure that this popular route is suitable for all, from children on bikes, to mothers pushing prams and those with mobility issues. Resurfacing this path will enable many more local people to walk or cycle for shorter everyday journeys, or for a pleasant day out.”

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