The Bridgewater Canal Company, part of
Peel L&P, is preparing to submit a planning application to reinstate the
towpath along the Barton Swing Aqueduct, reconnecting the Bridgewater Way.
The project focuses on improving
pedestrian and cycling connectivity, providing safe access over the Manchester
Ship Canal, completing the next phase of the
Bridgewater Way. The proposals have also been designed to provide a Disability
Discrimination Act [DDA] compliant route. The designs have been created with
safety front of mind, including discreet lighting within the railings and
appropriate landscaping. Thoughts and comments are welcomed during the public
consultation which will run from 17th March until 16th
April 2021 .
Having recently secured programme entry
from the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Challenge Fund for £4.8 million to
reinstate the raised towpaths to the Grade II* listed navigable aqueduct,
owners of the pathway, Peel L&P are working in partnership with Trafford
Council and Salford City Council on the project.
If the plans are approved, people will
be able to walk and cycle along a 20-mile stretch of the canal from Wigan
through Salford and Manchester to Trafford. Work is forecast to start by winter
Peter Parkinson, Director of the
Bridgewater Canal, part of Peel L&P, said: “There have been ambitions to
deliver improvements to Barton Aqueduct and reinstate the elevated walkway for
a number of years, so we’re thrilled to be bringing the plans forward to
improve the area for walkers, runners and cyclists.
“At present, people are required to
leave the Bridgewater Way to travel across the Manchester Ship Canal and Barton
Lane via Barton Road, which is a vehicle dominated environment. Our proposals
provide an alternative, pedestrian and cycle friendly route and reconnects the
Bridgewater Way. Given the historic nature of the site, careful consideration
has been given to the design and appearance of the proposals.”
A recent survey carried out by the
Bridgewater Canal in late 2020/early 2021 revealed more people have been using
the canal since the Covid-19 lockdowns and people expressed they feel lucky to
have such a place on their doorstep with 80% saying they feel a sense of pride
in the waterway.
Peter concluded: “We’re committed to
improving and protecting the Bridgewater Canal and towpaths to ensure it can
continue to be enjoyed by people and the generations to come.”
The Bridgewater Canal, built by the Duke
of Bridgewater, stretches 39 miles from Runcorn to Manchester and Leigh and is
considered the first true canal in England. Built at one level, its route
followed the contours of the land to avoid the use of locks. It was used to
transport coal to the Duke’s mine at Worsley and today it is a popular leisure
attraction and a home for canal boat residents. Barton Swing Aqueduct, which
opened in 1894, carries the Bridgewater Canal across the Manchester Ship Canal
in Trafford and Salford.
Helping to connect communities to nature in areas like the Bridgewater
Canal is part of Peel L&P’s five-year
To read more about the proposals, see the key features and provide feedback on the
proposals before the application is submitted at the end of March 2021, please
Following the public consultation, the website will continue to be live for
updates and project announcement.