The charity, Canal & River Trust, has started work on an 18-month project to improve access to and from Birmingham's waterways for thousands of cyclists, walkers and wheelchairs users who visit the canal every day.
The £6million project is being funded by the Department for Transport, Birmingham City Council and the Canal & River Trust and forms part of the city-wide Birmingham Cycle Revolution project aimed at improving cycle ways and pathways across the city.
The money will be used to improve around 15 miles of canal towpaths in and around Britain's 'canal capital', creating easy access to and from some of the nation's most historic waterways. The work will take place along the Birmingham Main Line, Birmingham & Fazeley, Grand Union and Worcester & Birmingham canals.
Peter Mathews CMG, chair of the West Midlands waterways partnership for the Canal & River Trust, said: “We are delighted that work has started on this stretch of the Birmingham Main Line Canal. The canals in Birmingham really help to connect local communities and bring together people from all different walks of life and this new towpath will benefit everyone who visits the canal. This investment won't just make cycling easier and safer along our towpaths, but also benefit the boaters, walkers and joggers who enjoy our wonderful waterways.”
Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City at Birmingham City Council, said: “I am delighted work is getting underway on a cornerstone of our Birmingham Cycle Revolution plan.
“The canals are a great place to go for an enjoyable ride - and once this work is complete, it will be easier than ever for people to use their bikes on towpaths in the city.”
In total Birmingham City Council was awarded £17 million in 2013 from the Department for Transport, which has been topped up to £24million from other sources, after their successful bid to the Cycle City Ambition Grant Fund which aims to make cycling easier and safer for people living in towns and cities.
For more media information contact Sarah Rudy, National Press Officer on 01908 302 584 / 07788 691 219 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Canal & River Trust is the guardian of 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales. We are among the largest charities in the UK, maintaining the nation's third largest collection of Listed structures, as well as museums, archives, navigations and hundreds of important wildlife sites.
We believe that our canals and rivers are a national treasure and a local haven for people and wildlife. It is our job to care for this wonderful legacy - holding it in trust for the nation in perpetuity and giving people a greater role in the running of their local waterways