Tun­nel trou­ble?


Canal Boat - - News -

A PRO­GRAMME OF tow­path im­prove­ments in Birm­ing­ham is run­ning into op­po­si­tion from boat­ing in­ter­ests af­ter a pro­posal emerged to nar­row Edg­bas­ton Tun­nel’s chan­nel to widen the path.

The work is part of a £10m pro­gramme funded by Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil. Al­though it is part of the city’s Birm­ing­ham Cy­cle Rev­o­lu­tion project, the Canal & River Trust stressed that it was “not driven by cy­cling” but by in­creases in all use, “whether this is walk­ing, run­ning or cy­cling”.

The Trust said that widen­ing the tow­path through the tun­nel on the Worces­ter & Birm­ing­ham Canal was ‘a long term am­bi­tion’ of the City, and that hav­ing mea­sured av­er­age daily us­age at 600 pedes­tri­ans, 300 cyclists and 25 boats, the Trust felt the time was now right to con­sult on the idea. The In­land Wa­ter­ways As­so­ci­a­tion told CanalBoat that nar­row­ing the chan­nel (mean­ing craft could no longer pass each other in­side), would be op­posed by IWA at lo­cal and pos­si­bly na­tional level.

How­ever, a CRT spokesman told Canal Boat that while craft pass­ing in­side in such a short tun­nel (105 yards) might not be seen as nec­es­sary or even de­sir­able, the Trust was con­scious of her­itage is­sues and would not make any changes with­out a full con­sul­ta­tion.

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