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27 March 2007

2007 Improvement Works Launched for Bridgewater Way

248 years on from the passing of its first Canal Act, the Bridgewater Way organisers launched their plans for the year ahead at an event with style.

Councillor Pennington, Chairman of the Bridgewater Canal Trust welcomed guests to the event hosted by Daresbury Laboratory earlier today, and introduced speaker Mike Butterworth, Property Director Peel Holdings who spoke of the £600,000 works to create the Bridgewater Way in Wigan, Salford and Runcorn.

The “Duke of Bridgewater” also made his first appearance in public with the decorated bicycle and introduced the community arts activities that will be taking place locally, and are being co-ordinated as part of the Bridgewater Way Arts Partnership by Walk the Plank.

Historically, the Bridgewater Canal is one of the most important in the world, and its status is now being recognised as the Bridgewater Way progress further along the canal.

Works for this year include:

WIGAN – LEIGH TOWN CENTRE

Works are currently being completed on site next to Leigh town centre where the half mile new stretch of Bridgewater Way will connect between the mills on Mather Lane and Butts Bridge. Here an approximately two metre wide towpath will be created with benches and information boards situated along it.

SALFORD - ECCLES

Works on site are progressing rapidly in Salford at Eccles between Liverpool Road and Hall Bank, the route reaches the site where the first passenger railway crosses the canal. This is the first step to improve the route towards historic Barton Aqueduct. Here additional seating and information boards will be provided.

RUNCORN

After opening phase one of the scheme in Runcorn last year a lot of positive remarks have been made from people who have enjoyed the new route. Phase 2 works are due to be undertaken this year and this will provide a route linking Castlefields, Norton, Sandymoor, Preston Brook, and also include better visitor information and access points at Daresbury and Moore on the Cheshire Ring. Works also include Manchester Ship Canal improvements to some bridges including Watersmeeting Bridge.

Mike Butterworth, Property Director at Peel Holdings said, “The creation of the Bridgewater Way is of great importance to this area and we are delighted that so many people have shown their support for the scheme so far. The works outlined this year are just another step closer to achieving our goal of bringing the canal back to its full glory by its 250th centenary year in 2011”.

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