Work starts on cycle-friendly Manchester canal path

An eight-kilometre stretch of the Ashton Canal's towpath will be resurfaced to allow more people to cycle into and out of the city centre

A cyclepath linking Manchester city centre and Ashton-under-Lyne will soon be in operation as an eight-kilometre stretch of canal towpath is resurfaced.

As part of the £20m Cycle City scheme, the stretch of canal between Piccadilly Basin, in central Manchester, and Portland Basin, in Ashton, will be turned into an all-weather route for cyclists, walkers and joggers.

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According to the Manchester Evening News, the Cycle City scheme aims to ensure 10 per cent of journeys in Greater Manchester are made by bike by 2025.

Julie Sharman, head of enterprise with the Canal and River Trust, told the MEN: “This project will improve the towpath for everyone making it accessible for cyclists, walkers, joggers, anglers and boaters.

“As well as providing a safe off-road route we hope many more people will use this improved towpath for leisure giving local people a great opportunity to use our network to increase activity and to enjoy the canal side environment.

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“Some of the route already has a good quality surface, near the Etihad City of Manchester Stadium and Piccadilly Village for example, but other areas will become much more accessible once an all-weather track is laid.

“At last it will be possible to cycle or walk the entire length of the Ashton Canal on a hard surface, providing new opportunities for commuters and city dwellers who want to re-connect to nature.”

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.