The need to upgrade the tow path from Bathwick Hill to Widcombe has been clear for some time. This January, the committee of SBHA resolved to highlight the importance of this to both the Canal & River Trust [CRT] and also the local council, B&NES.
A document was written to make the case for the resurfacing of the tow path. We then identified the key person at CRT who is the Enterprise Manager, Mike Youe, based at Gloucester. He fully backs the project and sent a short description which was added to the document.
“ The works will include construction of a high-quality surface with suitable crossfalls and a spray chip finish, hedgerow enhancement and the creation of a wildflower meadow to the north of the site”.
Mike was so pleased to receive our document that he requested that it could be used for funding applications. We agreed to this and undertook to gather local support for the project.
When we asked SBHA members to send in messages we were delighted to receive 21 responses in a 5 day period! All of them were extremely positive about the prospect of the path being restored to a year round usable condition.
In addition we invited local associations and groups to contribute. Again, the response was most impressive. We forwarded these to Mike Youe to show the overwhelming desire of local people to get this project underway. At the end of this article you can find links to most of the documentation that we sent. To preserve confidentiality we have not at this stage included individual comments.
We understand that a sum of £215k is needed to fund the project and that if this sum is realised and council approval is given, work could take place in the winter of 2022-2023.
SBHA is committed to work to maintain the momentum in this project! This is not just a group of residents upset about a local muddy path! This is a project to make good a route used by many people for different purposes. It is a link between city and countryside. It is in an area of great beauty. It fits four square within every local policy and initiative for healthy exercise, well-being, environmental enhancement and alternatives to transport.
We will update the SBHA website information on this project as appropriate. We will be pleased to forward ideas about possible funding to the Canal & River Trust.
Thank you for your interest and support!
SBHA 1st March 2022