Bath & North East Somerset Council is to undertake a public consultation as to how best to improve a significant portion of the towpath along the Kennet & Avon Canal between Sydney Gardens and Bathampton.
The towpath is one of the most heavily used sections on the canal, and is popular with pedestrians, cyclists, anglers and boaters. Working with the Canal & River Trust and in consultation with local ward councillors, Bath & North East Somerset Council has developed preliminary proposals which include improving the surface for year round use and widening the towpath where possible.
The proposals will be presented at a public exhibition to be arranged in August to seek views on the proposal from the local community and users of the towpath and the canal.
The improvements were made possible because a successful bid for City Cycle Ambition Funding by the Council has been allocated £3.8 million over the next three years. £650,000 is available to undertake the works on the towpath.
This will include an improvement to the towpath along the Kennet & Avon Canal between Sydney Gardens and Bathampton, and two cycling facilities across the River Avon near Bath Spa Station and Locksbrook Bridge.
Cllr Anthony Clarke (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Bath & North East Somerset Council has been awarded a significant amount of money by Government for this project and so we are keen to ensure it is spent in a way which benefits all users of the towpath.
We will therefore be consulting carefully with residents and towpath users on these proposals before final plans are agreed.”
Mark Evans, waterway manager at the Canal & River Trust said: “This project is going to make a huge difference to all users of the towpath, and we’re really pleased to be partnering with Bath & North East Somerset Council to get it done.
It’s not just about making it better for cyclists, it will give us a hard-wearing surface that’ll last for years and allow everyone easier access to the canal. I’d encourage anyone who’s interested in the plans to come down to the event in August to find out more.”
Details of the public exhibition will be published soon.