Towpath improvements along Coventry Canal

Photo – Canal and River Trust

Work has started on a project to improve the towpath of the Coventry Canal from Leicester Causeway to Hawksbury Junction.  The work will enable walkers and cyclists to use the towpath throughout the year as an alternative route avoiding traffic.

The work is being undertaken by a partnership between the City Council and the Canal and River Trust, the national charity that took over from the British Waterways Board.

The Coventry Canal is one of the early contour following canals and was built by James Brindley in 1768. The whole length of the canal has been designated as a Conservation Area.

The project builds on earlier improvement work between the Canal Basin and Leicester Causeway and means that local people will have easy access to the whole length of the canal throughout the year.

The length of the canal to be improved 

The work involves re-surfacing and widening of the towpath in places and improvements in access to the canal from adjoining neighbourhoods. The work will be undertaken in stages starting from Sutton Stop with temporary closure of successive sections of the canal towpath.

A recent survey by the West Midlands Combined Authority found a 40 per cent increase in cycling to work and walking to shops in Coventry during the recent lock-down period, with 17% expecting to cycle more and 47% expecting to walk more than they did before Covid-19.

The improvements will be completed ahead of Coventry being City of Culture in May 2021 and ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Photo – Sustrans

5 thoughts on “Towpath improvements along Coventry Canal

  1. Towpaths are too narrow to work as cycle paths. Look at the last picture in the post (the one showing the canal narrowboats) – what happens when a cyclist encounters a pedestrian? Or a cyclist coming in the opposite direction?

    Where will the anglers go? At the moment they move their tackle when a cyclist comes.

    Will fears about anti-social behaviour diminish?


  2. If cyclists want to use the towpaths they should learn to be a little more considerate. Time and again I have been startled by cyclists sweeping up behind me with no warning, or a teeny ‘ting’ on their bell. They often yell as if it’s MY fault for walking on THEIR towpath. Several times my dog barely escaped being run over by some hairy biker zooming past. Gentleness and politeness should be the order of the day. If you are in a hurry then get up earlier or take the bus!


    1. Cycle infrastructure shouldn’t be seen as a favour to the very small number of people who cycle already, but as something to get people to switch from car to cycle for at least some journeys.

      What’s needed is a decent cycleway from the city centre to Bedworth. Segregated from both pedestrians and motor vehicles. People in a hurry would then cycle on that. The towpath is too narrow.


  3. I would agree with a good cycle lane from Bedworth to Coventry City Centre , but these canal improvements are fantastic from Sutton stop towards Coventry and very much appreciated by someone like myself that uses that route regularly. It would be fantastic if Nuneaton and Bedworth Council would also follow Coventry City Councils lead in partnership with The Canal and River trust and extend the improvements further as the towpath from Sutton Stop to Bedworth Marston Lane is awful . Come on Nuneaton and Bedworth Council spend some money on a long neglected stretch of canal that is in desperate need of upgrade .


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