‘NEW TOWN’ TO HELP CANAL?
Controversial plans recently approved to redevelop the Dunsfold Aerodrome site (famous as the location for the BBC Top Gear test track) as housing may well boost the restoration of the adjacent Wey & Arun Canal. Although the Wey & Arun Canal Trust maintains a neutral stance on the pros and cons of proposals for a ‘new town’ of 1,800 homes, if it does get final approval (and the Government may ‘call in’ the application, leading to a public inquiry) WACT will press for the best results for the canal, which could include reinstating the A281 crossing, one of the more serious blockages in the way of full restoration.
If you know someone who’d like to try boating, Drifters Waterways Holidays’ centres around the UK are again holding taster sessions, including free trips on skippered narrowboats as well as boat tours and holiday discounts. It will be held in conjunction with the Canal & River Trust on Sunday 23 April, and no booking is required. Visit drifters.co.uk/openday to see what each centre is offering.
ENGINEERING FEATS MARKED
Engineering feats on the country’s waterways have been acknowledged by plaques from the Institution of Civil Engineers – one of which has been placed on a brick-built footbridge on the Rochdale near Manchester’s Piccadilly ( pictured). “Manchester’s canals helped facilitate the birth of the world’s first industrial revolution in Lancashire, making Manchester the world’s first modern industrialised city,” said Darrell Matthews, North West Regional Director of the ICE. The Kelvin Aqueduct on the Forth & Clyde also got a plaque and the Leeds & Liverpool Canal received a certificate.