We're going to create a new, all-weather hard surface along a popular 4km (2.5 mile) stretch of the towpath, running alongside the Leeds & Liverpool Canal from Skipton to Bradley. The upgrade work is due to start in April and will last for about three months.
Chantelle Seaborn, waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust in the North West, said: “We are delighted to have secured funding to transform the towpath into an all-weather surface which will make such a difference for cyclists, walkers, boaters and anglers using this popular route.
“The Leeds & Liverpool Canal is one of the key ‘Gateways to the Dales' and support from our partners Craven District Council and the National Park Authority has been vital in making this project a reality. Ultimately our ambition is to upgrade the entire Leeds & Liverpool Canal towpath in Yorkshire, improving links for the Leeds city region through to the Yorkshire Dales National Park.”
Councillor Simon Myers, lead member for Enterprising Craven at Craven District Council said: “This is fantastic news for Craven and the Yorkshire Dales. The canal is a great asset for the district but the quality of the infrastructure makes it difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy the canal. This first phase of works will deliver much needed improvements and builds on the legacy of the Tour de France in Craven. I look forward to seeing the work complete.”
Nick Cotton, the National Park Authority's member champion for recreation management, said: “This funding is very welcome indeed. Development of the towpath route will be a major benefit to the National Park because it will increase the opportunities for easy, safe cycling for those with less experience and it will be particularly beneficial for families. It's also a great way to promote wider cycling options throughout the area.”