Published: 19th JULY 2023

Active travel improvements underway on canal towpath near Aldermaston

We’re working with the Canal and River Trust, the national charity which cares for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, to upgrade 2.5km of towpath along the Kennet and Avon Canal at Aldermaston in Berkshire. This is part of our Paths for Everyone programme to enhance the National Cycle Network.

Canal towpath before works. Narrow mud path, lined with grass, next to a canal.

A section of National Route 4, next to the Kennet and Avon Canal near Aldermaston, is receiving much needed upgrades for walking, wheeling and cycling. Photo: Sustrans

Currently underway, the improvement works will make it safer and more enjoyable for people walking, wheeling and cycling on the National Cycle Network.

It will also improve access to the water for boaters, as new bank protection is being put in place along the canal.

Bridge improvements are being made for those choosing to walk and cycle.

And a World War II pillbox on the route is being developed as a new habitat for bats.

The 2.5km stretch of improvements begins at Aldermaston Wharf and heads eastwards along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Sulhamstead.


Working together to create a safer and more enjoyable space

The £1 million project is being funded through our Paths for Everyone programme, supported by the Department for Transport and delivered by the Canal and Rivers Trust.

Mark Evans, Canal and River Trust regional director, said:

"These improvements will make it easier for us all to use this section of the canal and enjoy the benefits that being by water can bring for our physical and mental health.

"As a charity, the Canal and River Trust benefits massively from support from partners such as Sustrans which enables us to continue looking after and improving these important green spaces.

"This is more vital than ever as we face the challenges of a changing climate on our 250-year-old canal network.

“Our towpaths connect people and places and need to be fit for purpose.

"This project will benefit the thousands of people who use this route on the canal for many years to come.”


Upgrading the National Cycle Network for healthier everyday journeys

Sarah Leeming, our director for the south of England, said:

"Creating safe and accessible walking, wheeling and cycling spaces helps so many people to leave the car at home.

"Time spent being active, surrounded by nature and fresh air, makes for happier and healthier everyday journeys.

“We're pleased to be working alongside the Canal and River Trust to upgrade this stretch of National Cycle Network Route 4 and make this a reality for more people.

"We’re looking forward to seeing the improved route open and ready to welcome everyone soon.”


Find out more about our commitment to creating a network of paths for everyone.

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