Towpath for school route

Published: Monday, 28 June 2010

AN AREA of the towpath around Sandwell along the Rushall Canal has been upgraded to allow children to cycle to school from the Yew Tree Estate.

The £158,000 project is part of the Q3 Academy Safer Route to School project, with the canal towpath and the Hill Farm Grade II listed cast iron footbridge being upgraded with a ramp.

The bridge and canal towpath were resurfaced to make them more suitable for cycling, a spokesman for British Waterways remarking it will encourage more visitors and schoolchildren onto the towpath and off the roads. This benefits everyone, helping to combat congested roads and giving youngsters a safer, greener and healthier route to school.

Access for everyone

The Hill Farm Bridge ramp is designed to meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), providing handrails, a safe slope and an even, level surface to enable canal side access for everyone.

British Waterways' Regeneration Project Manager Lucie Hoelmer explained:

"Canal towpaths are an excellent way of commuting to school or work as, even in urban areas, they are clean, green and free to use. We hope this stretch of the Rushall Canal can bring similar benefits to Sandwell."