Two new projects are making it easier for people to access a World Heritage Site on the Llangollen Canal.
A 200-year old ‘roving bridge’ built by Thomas Telford in Trevor is being updated to make it easier for cyclists and people with mobility scooters or pushchairs to cross the canal and a stretch of towpath in Llangollen is being resurfaced.
The projects are being supported with funding from the players of the Peoples Postcode Lottery, WREN Community Landfill Tax, Northern Marches Cymru Rural Development Programme (ERDF), Wrexham County Borough Council, Taith Sustainable Transport, Denbighshire County Council and Sustrans Cymru.
Postles Bridge is a 19th century ‘roving bridge’ that was constructed to allow horses, towing laden canal boats, to cross the canal without the need to be unhitched. Located immediately next to Trevor Basin in the World Heritage Site it forms a key link between this site and the canal corridor through to Llangollen.
Access from Postles Bridge back onto the towpath is currently via a cobbled ramp, which runs parallel to the canal with a steep turn at the foot of the slope. The project, which will be completed by the end of May, will construct a new ramp from the bridge to meet current disability requirements, making the canal from Trevor Basin to Llangollen Wharf fully accessible to everyone.
As part of the project, Glandŵr Cymru commissioned Phil Chambers, an independent countryside and heritage consultant, and expert on wheelchair and accessibility issues, to undertake an access audit and provide recommendations to enable better access for all.
The towpath improvements will include widening and resurfacing 1,500 metres of towpath along the World Heritage Site between Horseshoe Waterfalls and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, adding to the 16km of towpath already improved by the Glandŵr Cymru.
Kate Pearson, deputy head of charities, Peoples Postcode Lottery, comments: “Our players are delighted to support the project. Opening up the countryside and making this Welsh World Heritage Site open for all is a really important addition to the local community and all that visit from across the country and beyond.”
Jim Forrester, chair of the North Wales & Border partnership, adds: “The Bridge was very steep and the ramp was unsuitable for mobility scooters and cyclists and parents struggled with their pushchairs. Thanks to the funding the new upgraded bridge and our other project currently on site, to upgrade the towpath along the Llangollen Canal, will allow everyone access to the hugely popular and beautiful World Heritage Site.”