Improved canal towpath opens in Stone

THE Canal & River Trust, working in partnership with Staffordshire County Council, has officially reopened the newly improved stretch of the Trent & Mersey Canal towpath from Meaford to Stone.

Costing £500,000 and paid for by Staffordshire County Council, the new towpath means that local people can visit their local stretch of the Trent & Mersey Canal whatever the weather.  The improvement has created a level pot hole and traffic-free route that local people can use to commute to work and school, enjoy a leisurely stroll or go for a run.

This new upgraded section which is for just over a mile, forms part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network. Thanks to an earlier project with Staffordshire County Council and Stafford District Council that improved the towpath from Barlaston to Meaford, cyclists and walkers can now enjoy a green route all the way from Stone to Stoke-on-Trent.

Simon Papprill, enterprise manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “This improvement to the Trent & Mersey Canal towpath means visitors and local people can explore even more of Staffordshire’s waterways without ever having to venture onto busy local roads.

“Being by water is shown to be good for your physical health and mental wellbeing and with summer just round the corner I can’t think of a better place to explore and enjoy being out in the fresh air.”

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Helen Fisher said: “We are fortunate to have a large canal network in Staffordshire and our canal paths are certainly well used. The network is a valued asset for the county and brings many benefits – promoting healthy lifestyles, offering alternative transport linking our towns and villages and also providing volunteering opportunities.

“This section of canal links the town with Meaford where the new business park is being developed. It’s great that people working there in the future will be using it.

“We’re pleased to be strengthening our partnership with the Canal and River Trust to maintain and enhance the network. The results of the Stone to Meaford improvement project are outstanding and people are already using it on a regular basis.”

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