THE Canal & River Trust has started work to improve a section of the Erewash Canal towpath, making it easier for local people to get to work, school and the shops as well as access Ilkeston’s soon-to-be opened train station.
CRT is making the path wider and giving it a more durable surface which will mean local people will no longer get wet, muddy feet as they explore their local canal.
The works are being carried out in two phases and will build upon improvements carried out last year between Potters Lock and Awsworth Road. Once complete it will mean that a two-and-a-half mile length of towpath from Cotmanhay to Gallows Inn will have been improved by the Trust in recent years.
The new path will provide a better, year-round route for walkers, cyclists, people with buggies and those in wheelchairs. As well as offering a clean, green traffic-free route to the shops or Ilkeston train station the new path will also link in with other local walking routes and nearby attractions such as Bennerley Viaduct encouraging people to get outdoors and explore the area.
Funding for the £432,000 project has come from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) via Derbyshire County Council.
Lucie Hoelmer, enterprise manager for the Canal & River Trust said; “As a charity we want to make our canals the best they can be for local people and we’re delighted that the LEP has supported our work and provided funding for these much-needed improvements.
“Spending time by the water is really relaxing and so the Erewash Canal provides a perfect route to get away from it all as part of your daily routine. Once we’ve finished the works this path will be a really attractive, traffic-free route that the whole community can enjoy.”
The first phase of the works will involve the towpath between Gallows Inn Lock and Potters Lock. The second section to be improved is between Awsworth Road bridge and the Bridge Inn at Cotmanhay. Works are expected to be completed in May and local diversions will be in place.
For more information on the work of the Canal & River Trust visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk