The Aylesbury Arm, a spur of the Grand Union Canal originally completed in 1815, has seen a significant improvement in its towpath condition, thanks to an £800k investment.
The towpath improvements are on the section between locks 15 and 16, resulting in improved conditions for walking, cycling and wheeling.
The Aylesbury Arm canal towpath improvements – which have been made possible thanks to a £621,846 grant from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) from Homes England and £178,154 of funding from Section 106 developer contributions – are part of wider plans for active travel improvements in Aylesbury and form a main spine route between the town centre and the new developments of Kingsbrook and Woodlands.
Improvements for walking, cycling and wheeling include:
- Widening the towpath to 7 feet
- Resurfacing the towpath
- Improving accessibility onto the towpath
- Installing new signs along the route
The improvements aim to encourage active travel, improve people’s health, and reduce carbon and air pollution.
The new route forms part of the council’s aspirations for a ‘Aylesbury-Tring-Wendover Canal Triangle’ project and the wider Aylesbury Garden Town initiative.
Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport at Buckinghamshire Council, said: ‘The completion of the Aylesbury Arm canal towpath improvements is a significant milestone for the Active Travel Plan for Aylesbury. The new towpath will not only connect the town centre to the new developments of Kingsbrook and Woodlands, but also improve the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors by promoting active travel.
In recognition of this important infrastructure upgrade, Aylesbury MP Rob Butler, who cut the ribbon, and Buckinghamshire Council Leader Martin Tett officially launched the towpath improvements. They spoke about how the improvements have helped to make the towpath a safer, more accessible and enjoyable route.
Lastly, we are grateful to the Canal and River Trust for their partnership and to the Housing Infrastructure Fund and local development sites for their funding, which has helped make these towpath improvements possible.‘
The project was carried out in partnership with the Canal and River Trust and includes the installation of a smart VivaCity Counter along the canal towpath to monitor usage and journeys.
Further information on the Aylesbury Arm can be found on the Canal and River Trust website.
*Source of information : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.