I popped up onto the canal towpath today to see how the surfacing work is going.
B&NES and the Canal and River Trust have come together to spend part of a government cycling grant on putting down a proper, level tarmac and grit covered path all the way from the George inn at Bathampton to the first tunnel into Sydney Gardens.
They’ve also renovated the direct steps route up to the canal towpath from the Grosvenor Road bridge and are also resurfacing the incline – where l found contractors today putting up a wooden fence.
Much of the pathway is being given a loose stone edge to help drainage and this – along with the tarmac and the grit surfacing – is being brought in by a narrowboat barge.
A lot of hand labour is required as heavy machinery cannot get access to some parts of the towpath.
Within days, the contractors will start laying the top grit layer along the whole length and it looks like the whole stretch might be back in use within weeks.
The smoother surface is going to make it easier for all users but will probably encourage an increase in traffic – both on foot and cycle. It’s important that everyone makes room for everyone else.
With the mud and puddles now a thing of the past at least everyone will be able to walk or cycle in a straight line.