Tow Path Work Time-line

The council have just announced the schedule of work, starting 14th of March, with a completion planned for 15th of July.

I am trying to confirm that as part of the work on the connection from the towpath to Grosvenor Bridge, that the footpath with steps will also be brought up to a good standard. This would give more capable walkers a quicker route from the towpath to the bridge, while avoiding the ramp.


Dear All

The Project to upgrade the 2.2km section of canal towpath between Bath (A36 Beckford Road) and Bathampton will commence on site on Monday 14th March 2016. Works will be carried out by Kier (Canal & River Trust’s contractor) and are expected to last for up to 18 weeks, with a scheduled completion of Friday 15th July 2016. This will be just in time for the start of the school summer holidays.

The project is being undertaken in partnership between Canal & River Trust and Bath and North East Somerset Council and is being funded predominantly via the Department for Transport’s, City Cycle Ambition Fund 2.

The works in brief will comprise of the following:

  1. Scarify the full width of the existing towpath and widen where required to make up an overall width of 2.5m of finished towpath
  2. Lay 50mm thick dense bitumen macadam upon a 100mm type 1 sub-base
  3. To finish, lay a surface dressing of tar spray with chippings. The coloured finish of the chippings will attempt to closely match the existing limestone surface colour.
  4. Upgrade the 300m link path which provides a footpath link from the canal towpath to/over the Grosvenor river footbridge.

Works are scheduled to commence at Bathampton and work west back towards Bath. The contractors main compound is to be situated at Darlington Wharf/A36 and this will start to be assembled during the w/c 7th March 2016.

The canal will remain open to navigation throughout the works, but sections of the towpath will be closed to the public. However, access for residents and boaters (to and from their boats) will be maintained throughout and managed by the works contractor. For towpath users, there is a towpath diversion via Candy’s Bridge/Meadow Lane which is around the mid-point of the site, meaning 50% of the towpath (not being worked) will always remain open. A temporary pathway is to be created from the towpath on to Candy’s Bridge/Meadow Lane to facilitate the diversion.


Alison Sherwin

Senior Engineer (Accessibility and Cycling)

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Note that it looks like the gravel colour that has been chosen is to match the current surface colour as used in Bridgewater:

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  1. So it is all about speed to you – even those capable of taking the `faster` steps may not want to! You have failed to appreciate `slow` local values in this area – these have validity under planning law too…
    And why use the towpath when you could have improved Kensingtron Meadows? I have been part of a cycle advocacy group and we never
    sought to take space from those on foot but to assert the rights (and superiority) of the bicycle where the wheel dominates. Making a name
    for yourself at any price then, is it?

    • Making the steps route good as part of this work is a no brainer. Those steps are what is known as a “line of desire”.

      “I” had no say in spending £585k on the towpath. That was a request from CRT around 2011 and a decision by the council officer to fund it as part of CAF2. CycleBath had no decision in this and have previously stated it is a waste of cycling money. I have requested that as part of the work, that the existing steps and more direct path are also repaired and made good.

      If you had even bothered to investigate the Devizes work, the final gravel surface is actually just “ok” for cycling. It’s very slow going and is not a fast surface. BUT HEY that doesn’t fit your agenda.

      You can p*ss off with your “at any price” comment. You seem to think that excluding pushchairs, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters is acceptable. That a path is only usable in the winter by capable walkers in wellies. I have had parents say they can’t use the connection from Larkhall to the towpath in the winter because their kids cannot cycle or walk the route due to the mud. I note the weather has got better and the “hey the path is fine, what’s your problem” brigade are back out. You seem to forget the last 4 months where the path was an absolute mud fest.

      So please just stop. It is a towpath. A shared space. A space owned and run by the Canal and River Trust. An industrial relic. A towpath with a code of conduct, where pedestrians have priority.

      More importantly, this work was decided on by the council as part of the Bath Transport Strategy but this does not help the narrative you want which is to demonise CycleBath.

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