Cyclists and walkers are enjoying a new 10km stretch of modern cycleway as a multi-million-pound project nears completion in Staffordshire.
The £4 million cycleway project being undertaken by Staffordshire County Council in partnership with Canal and River Trust is part of the wider Pedal Peak project which will link Staffordshire with the Peak District National Park.
Engineers faced a number of challenges throughout the project with many narrow and hard to access sections of the canal. Barges were used to get materials and equipment up stream to where they were needed, similarly as they may have done over 200 years ago when the canal was first built.
Around 10km of upgraded towpath alongside the historic Caldon Canal has already been completed, linking many communities in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Work that started at Stockton Brook in February 2013 is due for completion this October and will see a completed 12km route linking into the Manifold Trail and the gateway to the National Park.
Cllr Gill Heath, cabinet support member for environment and rural issues at Staffordshire County Council, said: “This is a hugely exciting project for us and we are delighted with the improvements. Each month we’ve seen more and more of this wonderful route along the canal brought to life. Hundreds of people including families are already using the new path and I’m sure we’ll see even more visitors to the area. This is one of the largest single investments on Staffordshire’s canal network and obviously more visitors offer a welcome boost to our local tourism economy.”