Long awaited improvements to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath in Skipton are underway.
The £450,000 project will see a three-mile stretch of towpath between Skipton and Bradley made more accessible to cyclists and pedestrians.
It is also hoped it will encourage people to cycle or walk to the Snaygill Industrial site on the edge of Skipton.
Work started on Monday and is expected to take about 14 weeks to complete, taking it into the New Year.
The project is the result of joint working between the Canal and River Trust and Craven District Council, while funding has come from the Department of Transport as part of the Cycle Ambition grant programme.
Some diversions will be in place to allow work to be carried out safely, but access to the towpath will be maintained.
Nick Smith, enterprise manager with the Canal and River Trust, said it is a "fantastic" project that will improve the towpath.
“The canal is a haven – a brilliant, tranquil place to be – and the enhancements will be a real boost for all the walkers, runners, boaters and anglers who use it," he added.
The project was also welcomed by the Cllr Simon Myers, lead member for Enterprising Craven, who looked forward to improved links with Snaygill Industrial site.
“I’m delighted this project is getting underway. It will improve links for residents and will benefit cyclists and walkers who struggle to use this stretch of the canal at present," he said.
“It will also link Skipton town centre with Snaygill Industrial Estate, the largest employment site in Craven district. We look forward to providing a better environment for residents and visitors alike.”
The stretch of towpath is currently in a poor condition. It can get very muddy, with little hard surfacing, making it difficult for most users except those on mountain bikes. The trust has received complaints about its condition in the past and has noted the towpath is rarely used in the winter, when its condition is at its worst.
The canal path is being resurfaced with a self-bind material, which will be in keeping with the general surrounding landscape.
Full article at the Craven Herald