Canal Project Latest

May 2010

By David Marshall

May 2010

A46 Merrywalks Bridge

Plenty of positive news to report this month! The biggest news is that the A46 Merrywalks Bridge replacement contract has now been awarded to Carillion. This town centre project will dramatically demonstrate that canal restoration is fully underway. Work will start next month, with traffic being rerouted over the old Wallbridge Bridge between June and mid-November. Work is being led by Gloucestershire County Council, but roughly two-thirds funded by SDC from Canal Project resources. The opportunity is being taken to restore Wallbridge Upper and Lower Locks at the same time, thus saving cost and reducing disruption. A planning application for the lock work was submitted last week.

Ryeford Double Lock


A planning application has also been submitted for installing new gates and a bypass duct at Ryeford Double Lock; Listed Building Consent has already been given. Meanwhile, tenders have been invited for clearing the channel this side of Ryeford Double Lock and for ground investigations along the entire length between Stonehouse Ocean and Brimscombe.



Last week saw good TV coverage for the project. Countryfile, which boasts 7 million viewers, featured the canal, including an interview with Project Manager Paul Coupe. The following day, both regional TV stations covered the visit by a French team seeking to restore the Canal du Berry in the Loire Valley. The A46 bridge project was also featured.

Work on the Towpath

As promised, work has started on laying an upgraded towpath over 700m between Ocean and Stonehouse Bridge (Downton Road). This will be at least 2m wide wherever possible, with a recycled hardcore surface looking like gravel. The work is being undertaken by Reach – an organisation giving skills to the long-term unemployed and community payback offenders. This will inevitably mean temporary closures of the towpath and some inconvenience to users.



Volunteers continue to do a fantastic job. Cotswold Canals Trust (CCT) volunteers continue with their regular Monday and Wednesday work parties. Most recently, CCT volunteers have been uncovering the original spill weir (which controlled the canal level) at Griffins Mill Lock, Thrupp. This will enable the project to acquire the necessary land. This summer, volunteers will begin work on full restoration of the Lock, which is expected to take a couple of years. Other volunteers from Young Gloucestershire and Stroud District Youth Council (SDYC) have been busy clearing the canal channel and towpath at Ryeford and Hilly Orchard (Cashes Green).  8 SDYC members were involved and the work formed part of their Spring Training programme.


This page was added by Iris Capps on 16/05/2010.

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