A public consultation over plans to improve the Rochdale Canal towpath, gets underway today (Thursday 6 August).
Manchester City Council is planning to invest £1.3m to create a safer route for cycling and walking along a 4.2km-long stretch of the canal, running from the city’s border with Oldham to the New Islington development, near Great Ancoats Street in the city centre.
Through the scheme, which is open for consultation until Tuesday 1 September, the council aims to significantly boost the number of people choosing to cycle and walk along the canal.
The proposals would improve links between neighbourhoods along the canal, enhancing safety along the route into and out of the city centre and providing more pleasant space for leisure activities, plus better ‘cross-canal’ links to schools and other facilities in Miles Platting and Newton Heath.
Proposals include resurfacing the canal towpath and widening it in places; enhancing green spaces along the route; installing better signage and lighting to encourage use throughout the year, including warning markings on the edge of the path by the water; plus improving the accessibility of the route by providing new solutions where steps are currently the only option.
Because of the way the council works with its suppliers, making sure they add ‘social value’ to the city, the scheme will create new jobs for local people, plus benefits for local schools and community organisations.