Access for all at Bowbridge
Stroud District Council Canal Restoration Volunteers are driving forward improved pedestrian and wheeled access at Bowbridge Bridge.
The scene at Bowbridge in July 2017
Restoration of the road bridge carrying Butterow just completed
A new set of steps leading from the towpath up to the eastern end of Eagle Mill Close is under construction.
4.5 tonnes of concrete was recently poured into shuttering constructed by the volunteer team
The shuttering board was previously used for a different purpose at Wallbridge Lower Lock
Recycling construction materials
The reality is there was zero budget for this job. The team have had to be creative with what can be salvaged, recycled and donated.
Local business involvement played a key role in getting this job done. The Licensee of The Bowbridge Arms donated the cost of the concrete and two interpretation panels.
The project has been offered some railings to edge the twelve step flight up from the towpath. Each step has a rise of just seven inches.
The railings will be salvaged from a a soon to be demolished local factory.
Landscaping and seeding will follow the installation of the railings and the official opening will follow.
It has been suggested that the grassy slope at the foot of the steps would provide an excellent opportunity to install a pair of benches manufactured from reclaimed hardwood by the Cotswold Canals Trust Corporate & Commemorative Bench Project team.
Railings along the edge of the canal towpath have already been installed.
Access for all
As well as access for pedestrians via the new steps, a nearby route for wheeled users has been identified that will achieve the sought after ‘access for all’.
The Equality Act 2010 explains the need to create such access. The really good news is that Stroud Town Council has undertaken to provide funding towards the wheeled access project.
In the case of the towpath to Bowbridge ‘access for all’ will be provided by a ramp leaving the towpath about 100 metres west of Bowbridge Bridge.
The ramp will rise to the western end of Eagle Mill Close to take take prams, pushchairs, mobility buggies and wheelchairs towards Butterow and beyond.
From Eagle Mill Close users will cross over Butterow and follow the marked route through the Bowbridge Lock housing estate to re-join the towpath.
The signing of the final agreement with the owners of Eagle Mill Close is awaited. It is hoped that work on the ramp will commence soon.
Refresh your memory
Time to spare and energy to share?
The Stroud District Council Canal Restoration Volunteers are active on Tuesdays & Thursdays.
If you, or someone you know, might benefit from some open air activity and teamwork
Click here, or on the icon below, to send an email to the SDC Canal Team