A public consultation over plans to improve the Rochdale Canal towpath, encouraging more cycling, walking and leisure activity, gets underway today (Thursday 6 August).
Manchester City Council is planning to invest £1.3m to create a safer route for cycling and walking along a 4.2km-long stretch of the canal, running from the city’s border with Oldham to the New Islington development, near Great Ancoats Street in the city centre.
Through the scheme, which is open for consultation until Tuesday 1 September, the council aims to significantly boost the number of people choosing to cycle and walk along the canal.
The proposals would improve links between neighbourhoods along the canal, enhancing safety along the route into and out of the city centre and providing more pleasant space for leisure activities, plus better ‘cross-canal’ links to schools and other facilities in Miles Platting and Newton Heath.
Proposals include resurfacing the canal towpath and widening it in places; enhancing green spaces along the route; installing better signage and lighting to encourage use throughout the year, including warning markings on the edge of the path by the water; plus improving the accessibility of the route by providing new solutions where steps are currently the only option.
Because of the way the council works with its suppliers, making sure they add ‘social value’ to the city, the scheme will create new jobs for local people, plus benefits for local schools and community organisations.
Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “We’re planning to invest £1.3m in yet another scheme which will make cycling and walking more attractive, safer options for people getting around our city.
“We know that people want to see an improved path for safer cycling and walking along the Rochdale Canal and are determined to create a much more attractive route, which people actively choose to use and which will link up communities along the canal.
“Enhancing the local environment in this way will help to remove barriers to healthier active travel into the city centre and to local schools and amenities, reducing reliance on the car for shorter journeys.
“We want to see the number of people cycling and walk along the Rochdale Canal increasing, but to make sure this is a scheme which works for as many people as possible, we need your views, so please get involved in the consultation.”
To view the detailed proposals for the scheme and give feedback, visit www.manchester.gov.uk/consultations. The consultation period for the scheme will run until Tuesday 1 September.