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News article created on 29 November 2016

New steps installed along canal at university station

The Trust, working in partnership with Birmingham City Council, has installed a new set of steps along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal allowing local people easy access from the canal to the local hospital and train station.

Birmingham Canal

The project, which has been funded as part of Birmingham City Council’s Birmingham Cycle Revolution scheme, aims to improve 27 miles of canal towpath in and around the city centre as well as improving lighting and access to and from the canal.

This section of canal in Selly Oak is one of the busiest in the area and is frequently used by local people accessing the train station, local hospital and the University of Birmingham. These new steps are wider and deeper than the original set making them much safer to use. The steps also include cycle channels which allow bikes to be easily wheeled up and down the stairs.

Jonathan Pritchett, from the Trust, said: "The old steps were hard work. Not only were they narrower and steeper but they didn’t have any cycle channels so cyclists had to carry their bikes up and down the steps, which wasn’t safe.

"These new steps will make accessing the canal much easier and will hopefully encourage more people to commute via the towpath rather than on busy roads."

Councillor Stewart Stacey, Cabinet member for Transport and Roads at Birmingham City Council, said: "The aim of Birmingham Cycle Revolution is to make cycling an everyday way to travel around our city and in order to encourage this we need to ensure that the city’s cycle routes are as attractive and accessible as possible.

"I am pleased that work to improve these steps has now been completed, ensuring that cyclists and pedestrians alike have greater access to our impressive canal network."

As canal towpaths are busier than ever and the Trust is asking all visitors to help keep waterways special and for walkers and cyclists to ‘Share the Space’ when visiting the regions canals.