Towpath work due to start end of February.

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 ( )
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.

kennet and avon canal After rain the towpath is quite an obstacle course for cyclists and pedestrians.

IMG_6113 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.

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  1. As I said at the very last TB meeting I, as a noted campaigner for bikes overseas will attend, this is overkill with a speed agenda that leads directly to infrastructure for the car. Why could you not be satisfied with Kensington Meadows and improvements to London Rd?
    Not enough committment to see that route through?
    Even the photos demonstrate a few buckets of gravel and some wood chips would do the job well enough and prove far more culturally and environmentally sustainable.
    thus, you have reduced the credibility of the Transition Movement in Bath across the board. Clear example of an environmental group becoming victim of its own success – the populist choice trumping the
    low impact one. Joni Mitchell said it best…
    NB It is precisely these tiny local changes that are the most insidious…

    • Sally,
      CycleBath is not an environmental group. The byproduct of cycling is a better environment. Read the manifesto ( At no point is it mentioned about the environment.

      Personally I have no want or need to try and deliver a surface that is NOT usable all year round by push chairs, wheelchairs, mobility scooters and bikes.

      I will be happy with London Road when a parent in Larkhall can happily put their 8 year old child on a bike and send them off to school.

      You also seem to have forgotten the history of the towpath upgrade. We had nothing to do with it. The Canal and River Trust have wanted this for MANY years. Please do CycleBath the courtesy of reading the history behind this .

      And before you go crying about your precious towpath, be fully aware that the Canal and River Trust have the intention to bitmac and spray and chip as much of their 2000 miles as they possibly can for the long term benefit of ALL users not just those physically capable of negotiating muddy paths.

      I will happily support the tarmac-ing of any route that gets people out of cars and onto bikes. We need a fit, healthy, nation that is not burning fossil fuels and your idea of environmental sustainable “theories” keep people going A to B in cars.

      Finally, Kensington Meadows needs a 4 season path. This can be achieved using grass matts even though a tarmac path would be better for people in wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

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