WALKERS, cyclists, fishermen and anyone who visits the Chesterfield Canal at Worksop will soon benefit from an improved tow path.
Work has already begun to resurface the busy stretch of path between the Lock Keeper pub on Sandy Lane and Worksop town centre, as part of a £231,000 project.
The Canal & River Trust, which looks after the nations’s waterways, aims to provide everyone, including disabled visitors, a clean, green traffic-free route into Worksop.
A grass verge will also be set aside along the length of the tow path for anglers.
Almost 1.5km of the route will be modified. Work has started this week and will last around eight weeks.
“The Chesterfield Canal is hugely popular with people living and working in Worksop but this popularity means that the path is now ready for some additional investment to ensure it can cope with modern usage,” said Lucie Hoelmer, enterprise manager for the Canal & River Trust.
“This improvement project will make the canal towpath even more appealing to those who want a traffic-free route to work and shops or just a quiet place to spend a leisurely afternoon.”
“It’s an important project that will really benefit the town and the people of all ages and abilities who are keen to use the canal as part of their everyday lives.”
The £231,000 project is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The rest is being paid for by Notts County Council, and through the Veolia Environmental Trust, which has awarded a grant of £40,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund.
At the moment the towpath can become muddy and is prone to large puddles in wet weather.
The towpath improvement project will create a safer route that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
The project follows on from works in 2010 to improve the canal towpath between Shireoaks and Sandy Lane.
The executive director of the Veolia Environmental Trust, Laurie McNabb, said: “It is great to hear this important project is underway – I look forward to seeing the improved towpath being used and enjoyed.”
Positive comments came flooding in on the Worksop Guardian’s Facebook page when we announced news of the scheme.
Trevor Cashmore wrote: “I think it’s great. The canal is part of Worksop’s past. It should be looked after and used.”
“ On a nice day it costs nothing to take the family for a lovely stroll down the canal. Look at the fish and wildlife.”
Rehana Allison said: “The path between the Lock Keeper and town is awful in comparison to the recently done part between the Lock Keeper and Shireoaks which is great.”
And Clare Louise Morrisroe added: “I think it’s great. I do think it sounds quite expensive, but that why I’m a child minder and not a finance person.”
“I walk down that stretch of canal from Shireoaks quite a lot, sometimes with a double pram, and the rest of time with a single.”
“I have never seen anyone blocking the paths. All I have ever met on there are people out fishing, biking, running, and walking their dogs - lots of polite people enjoying the fresh air.”
“I love taking the children down the towpath and seeing their little faces light up at the ducks, wildlife, trees, fishermen - the list is endless.”
Finally, Kyle Buffrey wrote: “Infrastructure is something that Worksop needs. It is a more of a beautification project I think, but it is a good step in the right direction.”