7,500 recycled tyres are being used to create a new environmentally-friendly towpath surface along the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union.
This innovative towpath surface, known as Flexipave, is a mixture of recycled shredded tyres and gravel held together by a special binder. Once set, it will create a smooth towpath surface for the thousands of people that enjoy walking, cycling, running and fishing by the canal.
The £300,000 project is being jointly funded by the Canal & River Trust, Northamptonshire County Council from money provided by the Department for Transport plus money from Section 106 planning agreements. The works will improve over a mile of towpath between East Hunsbury and Sixfields.
James Clifton, our enterprise manager, said: “The new surface will really improve the towpath for everyone who uses it. The canal is a haven for wildlife, so it’s great we can complement that by using a really environmentally friendly method. It’s a good way to reuse something that would otherwise have been sent to landfill and give these tyres a second lease of life.”
Cllr Michael Clarke Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment said: “We are really lucky to have the Grand Union Canal flow through much of Northamptonshire and I would really urge local people to get out on the towpath, either by bike or by foot and really discover their local waterway.”
Cllr David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “Our canal paths were important transport links that helped Northampton grow. Industry no longer needs the canals, but they have found new life as footpaths, cycle ways and places to relax.
“The improvements and upgrades will help more people enjoy our towpaths, connecting communities and making it easier for people to come into the heart of our town centre.”
During the works the towpath will be closed with clear diversion signs in place.