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News article created on 18 February 2015

New towpath will transform the Coventry Canal

A £470,000 scheme to improve the Coventry Canal towpath, enabling cyclists and walkers to enjoy a green, traffic-free route into the heart of Coventry city centre, has got underway.

The scheme will see the 2.5km stretch of towpath improved from Coventry canal basin towards Stoke Heath making it an ideal escape for those on foot or bike. Importantly the scheme will provide a missing link with a previously improved section of towpath from Hawkesbury Junction into the city, in total offering an 8km route through the city.

The new path will enable walkers and cyclists to see Coventry from a different perspective and enjoy the canal’s rich heritage and wildlife as they make their way into the city for work, school or to hit the shops. The path will be suitable for use in all weathers and will form one of a number of cycle-routes into the city.

Cycle Coventry project 

The scheme is being carried out in partnership between the Canal & River Trust, Coventry City Council and Centro. It forms part of the £7 million Cycle Coventry project which aims to help connect residents to employment, education and training by providing improved cycle routes and infrastructure.

The improvements will extend from Bridge 1 at Draper’s Fields to Bridge 4 at Stoney Stanton Road and will include the section of towpath around the Barratts Homes development at Electric Wharf. Sections of the path will now be closed temporarily while construction takes place but is expected to be completed and fully open before the end of March 2015.

A healthy walk

Charlotte Atkins, chair of the Trust’s Central Shires waterway partnership, said; “This really is the missing piece of the jigsaw. We already know that the towpath leading into the city is very popular but this project will make the final stretch much easier and more enjoyable for people to use.

"The canal is a fantastic place where our local history comes to life and where, if you’re very lucky, you may see a kingfisher darting about so I hope that, once complete, we will see many more people heading out onto the towpath for a healthy walk.”