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News article created on 25 February 2016

New towpath to top off Caen Hill repairs

A £180,000 project to resurface a 700m stretch of towpath near Caen Hill in Devizes has started this week

Caen Hill Caen Hill

The work between Prison Bridge and Town Bridge is being carried out in partnership with Wiltshire Council, and will widen and resurface the existing towpath after significant damage was caused to the waterway late last year.

Emergency repairs were needed after a lock paddle left open on the canal allowed a huge amount of water to flow down the famous lock flight, the weight of which caused an embankment to collapse and wrecked sections of the towpath. While the canal has since reopened, this project will improve the towpath for all-weather use.

Mark Evans, waterway manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “The damage caused to Caen Hill was really disheartening, so it’s fantastic this project will get the towpath here in an even better condition than it was before.  The canal gets huge numbers of visitors all year round, and this project will make a real difference to everyone coming to enjoy it.”

Worthwhile investment

Philip Whitehead, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for highways, said: “We are committed to continuing to develop the pedestrian and cycle access through Devizes. The canal is a wonderful facility, and this worthwhile investment will be enjoyed by thousands of people for years to come and will help improve air quality through the town too.”

The project is expected to take eight weeks to complete, with diversions in place for cyclists and pedestrians throughout.