How this will work based on what happened with Devizes
1) The towpath will have a bitmac (tarmac) smooth surface laid down (6 week process).
2) Then they have to wait for a dry warm spell.
3) Local residents who opposed the towpath upgrade will complain about how bad it looks and how it enables speeding cyclists as they did in Devizes (http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/12968960.Tow_path_resurfacing_causes_waves_in_Devizes/ )
4) Around May the final surface will be applied, at which point everyone should calm down. The final Devizes surface really only allows slow cycling. It’s a gravel finish.
5) Finally the towpath will be useable whatever the weather.
As a cyclist, l have pretty much given up using the towpath link into Bath at the moment.
A month of rain has turned the canal-side approach path from Grosvenor Bridge into a quagmire and the towpath itself looks like a miniature (and repeating) Lake District.
After rain the towpath is quite an obstacle course for cyclists and pedestrians.
The pathway up to the canal
It’s my understanding work will start on improving things at the end of February/beginning of March – but no definite date has yet been fixed.
The contractors who will do the job are – apparently -specialist river engineers who regularly do a lot of towpath and river bank work for the Canal & River Trust.