News article created on 27 March 2013

Investing in West London's towpaths

Over £650,000 is being invested in a green route stretching more than two miles along the Grand Union Canal for the benefit of the hundreds of walkers, cyclists, joggers and boaters in west London who use the towpath every day.

It will give boat owners, walkers, cyclists, joggers and families more space to enjoy the canal

Jon Guest, London waterway manager

Funding from Transport for London (TfL) and from Ealing and Hillingdon Councils is enabling us to revitalise this popular stretch of towpath.

The Grand Union Canal is more popular today than at any time in its history, and across London there has been a 21% increase in use of Greenways routes like towpaths in the past year. We are now working in partnership with TfL and local boroughs to transform the towpaths for the benefit of everyone. 

In Ealing and Hillingdon, the towpath is narrow, making it difficult for people to share the space.  Following a pilot scheme in Ealing last year, we are now creating over two miles of wider, more accessible towpath between the railway bridge over the canal near Northolt in Ealing and Spikes Footbridge in Hillingdon.  Overhanging bushes and encroaching brambles along the towpath will also be cut back to improve visibility along this stretch.

Ealing and Hillingdon Councils, in partnership with TfL, are investing £594,000 over two years through its Cycling on Greenways programme.  Additionally, the Trust is investing £60,000 in the green route. 

The works are supporting the Mayor of London’s Vision for Cycling in London. It will help accommodate growth in walking and cycling while providing a safe and attractive environment for all canal users, whilst enabling pedestrians to maintain priority on the towpaths.

Jon Guest, London waterway manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Creating an improved towpath in Ealing and Hillingdon will completely transform the Grand Union Canal in the area.  It will give boat owners, walkers, cyclists, joggers and families more space to enjoy the canal, whether they’re cycling to meet a friend, walking to work or feeding the ducks.  As the popularity of London’s canals continues to grow, the Canal & River Trust is actively finding ways to improve the experience for all waterway lovers.”

Thousands of people use London’s towpaths every day.  The Canal & River Trust’s ‘Share the Space’ campaign encourages people to consider others when using London’s towpaths by being considerate and slowing down, remembering to give pedestrians priority.