Opening-up the waterways

Published: Wednesday, 03 November 2010

BRITISH Waterways, working in partnership with All Saints and Blackenhall Community Development's 'New Deal For Communities' project, have  transformed an area of Wolverhampton's Old Main Line Canal.

The aim of the project, which is expected to be fully completed by December, at a cost of £425,000, is to forge better and safer access to the canal network, with the work 'before' and 'after' shown in the photographs of Lower Walsall Street Bridge.

In addition an access ramp suitable for use by disabled people has been created at Monmore Bridge, at Cable Street.

Previously access at Monmore Bridge was unsuitable for cyclists or those with pushchairs or wheelchairs, while at Lower Walsall Street Bridge there had been no access to the canal for 40 years.

Pedestrian counter

The creation of these new access points, we are told, has been complemented by the installation of a pedestrian counter, new paving to the towpath under bridges and works to enhance biodiversity including hedge planting and reed-planting. A successful volunteer day was also held in which 10 volunteers assisted with tasks such as clearing litter and vegetation.

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

"This has been a very successful two years project bringing big improvements to the area by providing greatly enhanced canal access and safety. The scheme has opened up Wolverhampton's canal corridor to encourage everyone to take full advantage of this fantastic amenity—and positive feedback from passers-by tells us the local community are already enjoying the benefits of better access."