Work begins next month on canal towpath between Chester and Ellesmere Port

6 August 2020

Work to upgrade sections of the Shropshire Union Canal towpath between Chester and Ellesmere Port is scheduled to begin in September 2020.

The scheme has been developed in partnership between Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Canal & River Trust, who hold the guardianship of the canal and towpath.  

The project will see the upgrade of three sections of towpath along the canal between Chester and Ellesmere Port, which are part of National Cycle Routes 45 and 70.  The towpaths will benefit from widening together with improved surfacing and access points. 

The work will complement a project completed in 2019 at Thornton Road, Ellesmere Port, which linked the canal towpath to Cheshire Oaks retail area via a new pedestrian footbridge. The project also supports the Council’s Climate Emergency declaration and commitment to help west Cheshire to become carbon neutral by 2045.

Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “Making cycling and walking safer and easier will provide health and environmental benefits and support the climate emergency while promoting a well-connected and accessible borough. The project will also help to improve local connectivity, accessibility and mobility.

“A total length of 4.7km safe walking and cycling path will be provided to improve access to employment, housing, retail and leisure opportunities.”

Tania Snelgrove, project manager at the Canal & River Trust said: “Its fantastic news that funding has been secured to transform the towpath along the Shropshire Union Canal. Improving this stretch will link up the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port with other popular destinations in the area meaning visitors and local people can more easily access these wonderful assets by foot or cycling avoiding the busy roads.

“Research shows that being next to water makes you feel happier and heathier and once this towpath is finished local people can enjoy being next to water all year round.”

Sections of the towpath to be upgraded include:
  1. Between Bridge 134 – Bridge 133 Section of the canal between Chorlton Lane/ Caughall Road past Chester Zoo to Liverpool Road canal bridge. 
  2. Between Bridge 133 – Bridge 131continues the canal section above from Liverpool Road to the area adjacent to Old Oaks Golf course (before Countess of Chester Hospital)
  3. Between Bridge 123 – Bridge 122B Section of canal from A51 Vicars Cross (near Chester Boughton Hall Cricket club) to the A41 near Pearl Lane.
The scheme value is £1.22m, consisting of £460,000 of funding secured from the Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund and £760,000 match funding from the Council (including developer contributions).  

The works will commence in September 2020 and are expected to be complete by Spring 2021.

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