Cycling and walking boost for Huddersfield Narrow Canal
Important cycling and walking link re-opens following improvement works as part of a £2.9m scheme of canal towpath upgrades across West Yorkshire.
A stretch of towpath along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal officially re-opened today (Friday 30 November), following improvement works as part of a £2.9m scheme to boost cycling and walking access on four West Yorkshire canals.
The 2.1km section between Huddersfield and Milnsbridge has been resurfaced as part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £60m CityConnect programme, which works in partnership with a range of public, private and community organisations to encourage more people to cycle and walk.
Representatives from Kirklees Cycling Campaign and Huddersfield Canal Society were joined by Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, Cllr Eric Firth, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member – Economy at Kirklees Council, and Caroline Schwaller MBE, Chair of the Regional Advisory Board at Canal & River Trust, for the official re-opening.
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We’re delighted to have worked in partnership with Kirklees Council and Canal & River Trust to improve this section of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, which will provide people travelling by bike or on foot with a safe, scenic traffic-free route all year round.
“As well as providing missing links in local cycling and walking infrastructure, these improvements – alongside other schemes across the region – are helping open up access to some of our best countryside.
“Through our CityConnect programme, the Combined Authority is working in partnership to connect people to employment and opportunities, and encourage more of us to travel in a way which benefits our health, the environment and our economy.”
The schemes are funded by the Department of Transport (DfT) and delivered by the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme in partnership with the Canal & River Trust, the charity which cares for the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, and local authority partners.
Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member – Economy at Kirklees Council, said: “As we look to make our towns more environmentally friendly, it is encouraging to see new sustainable routes opened up for cyclists and walkers in Huddersfield.
Having integrated transport solutions will also help to improve connectivity between Kirklees towns and support our economy further.”
Sean McGinley, Regional Director Yorkshire at Canal & River Trust, said: “Our research shows that spending time by water can make people feel happier and healthier, so whether you’re exercising the dog, cycling to work or simply enjoying a weekend stroll with the family, doing it along the towpath can be a great boost.
“We hope the upgraded towpath will encourage more people to get out and about by the Huddersfield Narrow Canal this winter and beyond.”
The Huddersfield Narrow Canal is one of four canal towpath schemes across West Yorkshire.
Earlier this year both the Calder & Hebble Navigation towpath between Sowerby Bridge and Hollas Lane Bridge, and the Leeds & Liverpool Canal between Riddlesden and Silsden re-opened following improvement works.
The Rochdale Canal is to benefit from improvements to create a 10km route linking Sowerby Bridge to Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge.
A further £1.5 million of funding from the Department for Transport, announced earlier this year, will see this extend to Todmorden.