York & North Yorkshire

Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath £2m project to start

Leeds and Liverpool Canal, near Kildwick Image copyright Google
Image caption The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is now mainly used for leisure boating, walking, angling and cycling

A £2m project to improve part of the towpath on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in North Yorkshire has been given the go-ahead.

The work will take place on a seven-mile (11km) stretch between Skipton and Gargrave, and Bradley to Kildwick.

Councillor Simon Myers, from Craven District Council, said the scheme would be a "huge benefit" to walkers, cyclists and local communities.

It follows a similar scheme between Skipton and Bradley in 2015.

The plan is also designed to provide safer walking and cycling access into the Yorkshire Dales and connections to neighbouring towns and villages.

Sean McGinley, from the Canal and River Trust, said the work would mean people could enjoy the towpath throughout the year.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The waterway is 127 miles (204 km) long

Last summer, a 55-mile (89km) stretch of the waterway from Lancashire to Gargrave was temporarily closed as a result of the dry weather, although the towpath stayed open.

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is Britain's longest man-made waterway. It was used to carry coal, limestone, wool, cotton, grain and other farm produce.

It is now primarily used for leisure boating, walking, angling and cycling.

Building the waterway started in 1770 and was only completed 46 years later in 1816.

The council said work on the towpath stretches would start this year.

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