Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath reopens offering improved walking and cycling access

Improved walking and cycling access along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath was officially opened by the Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin on Saturday 3rd September.

The scheme is part of a £2.7 million investment to boost access on two West Yorkshire canals, which involved improvement works between Milnsbridge and Slaithwaite, and a 3.5km section of towpath between Apperley Bridge and Shipley on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The Mayor was joined by councillor Manisha Kaushik, deputy chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee and councillor Graham Turner, cabinet member for regeneration at Kirklees Council at the event.

Mayor Brabin said: “We’ve invested more than £9.5 million in upgrading canal towpaths across West Yorkshire. It’s been a pleasure joining the community in celebrating these latest improvements on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath.

“Making it easier to walk, cycle and use public transport will help tackle the climate emergency and make West Yorkshire an even better place to live and work.”

Councillor Kaushik said: “These improvements are an example of how we are working together to make walking and cycling people’s first choice. This important missing link will provide communities along the Colne valley with a traffic-free, flat and scenic route which can be used all year round.”

The latest improvements on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal build on previous towpath upgrades between the town centre and Milnsbridge. The scheme has been delivered through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, which is aimed at enabling more people to walk and cycle, in partnership with Kirklees Council and the Canal and River Trust.

Councillor Turner said: “The work being delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme and supported by the Canal and River Trust links the communities of Milnsbridge and Slaithwaite, whilst also providing a continuous active travel route from the town centre to Slaithwaite and beyond.

“The canal towpath was closed to improve long-term accessibility via the path and ensure public safety during the construction works. We are delighted that this part of the towpath will be open for members of the public to enjoy once again. We would like to thank the public for their cooperation in using alternative access provisions, while the work was undertaken.

“We would also like to express gratitude to the Canal and River Trust and CityConnect for their work on the project, and helping to provide safe alternative public and cycle access provisions onto and off the canal.”

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Sean McGinley, regional director at the Canal and River Trust, said: “Thanks to this and the previous towpath scheme, people can now travel easily between Huddersfield and Slaithwaite. It would be great to see funding secured to allow us to continue with towpath improvements along the canal towards Marsden and Standedge Tunnel.”

Rebecca Morley

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