Encouraging visitors

Published: Saturday, 06 March 2010

BRITISH Waterways and  New Deal for Communities ABCD[?] is spending £446,000 in an attempt to open up the Old Main Line of the BCN to encourage more visitors.

A spokesman for British Waterways relates:

"New Deal for Communities (ABCD) and British Waterways are working together to transform an area of the Old Main Line Canal in Wolverhampton. The project is directing £446,000 of spend to the area and aims to open up the canal corridor by providing new access points, encourage the local community to use the improved towpaths, and increase biodiversity."

Ramped access

Accesses to the canal will be re-instated at Monmore Bridge and Lower Walsall St Bridge. A Disability Discrimination Act compliant ramped access will be installed at Monmore Bridge and a stepped access will be provided at Lower Walsall St Bridge. In addition to these works, improvements to the bridge parapets and access entrances will be made.

The whole plan in re-instating links from street to canal is to encourage  the local community to visit the canal on its doorstep.

The works are being undertaken by two primary contractors: Groundwork West Midlands is completing the biodiversity and paving works, and May Gurney is 'delivering the larger access works'.

Encourage people

Tony Harvey, Head of Regeneration (Midlands) at British Waterways, explained:

"We hope that in opening up these access points to the Old Main Line Canal we will encourage people in the area to get onto the towpath. We are enhancing the ecology and heritage of the canal and I hope the neighbouring communities will seize this opportunity to find out more about their local waterway."

The biodiversity works are already in progress and work to the accesses and under-bridge paving is scheduled to start in April. The project is due to be completed by July 2010.