Dispute over state of canal towpath in Wigan

A councillor at the charity which maintains Britain's waterways are in a row over the state of a section of path.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 3:03 pm
Updated Friday, 9th July 2021, 3:04 pm

Coun Ron Conway, who represents Aspull New Springs Whelley ward, has hit out at the Canal and River Trust (CRT) over the lack of work that has been done to repair a popular walking route alongside the waterway between New Springs and Red Rock.

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And the CRT has admitted that it is struggling to find the funds needed to carry out the work.

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Coun Ron Conway is complaining about the state of a stretch of canal towpath

That has led to Coun Conway, who also chairs the health committee at the local authority, to renew his calls for action.

Coun Conway said: “I know things go at their own pace on the canals but this is ridiculous.

“It’s a few months now since we first raised the issue of the state of the towpath from Top Lock to Red Rock.

“We feel it is totally unacceptable to continue with the state of this towpath in dry weather.

“You’ve got holes from the wet weather and that created an impassable area.

“We want to see action now it has dried up. We have been in conversation with the CRT who have corresponded with us on numerous occasions, but have come up with the conclusion that they have not got the finances to do this towpath.

"We feel this is totally unacceptable and we will continue to pursue this serious health and safety issue which affects lots of our residents.”

The charity said it would love to be able to upgrade the stretch of towpath but its resources are currently too stretched to be able to do comprehensive work on it.

Joe Hildred, enterprise manager at the CRT, said: “We are aware of concerns raised by local councillors regarding the condition of the towpath between Springs Bridge and Red Rock Bridge on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and have held discussions with Wigan Council.

"We care for 2,000 miles of canals and rivers in England and Wales with limited resources and budget.

“We are looking to carry some patch work repairs to the towpath over the next few months and we’re actively looking for funding to upgrade the towpath in the future.”

Coun Conway is urging local residents to email him to gauge the strength of local feeling on the issue at [email protected]

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