A clogged-up section of canal that spans the border between England and Wales near Oswestry is set to be restored to its former glory, thanks to the allocation of cash from last month’s Budget.
However, it fell into disuse in the 1930s and while there have been attempts at restoring it since the 1960s, parts remain impassable. However, £15.4 million was made available for more restoration work via the Chancellor’s ‘Levelling Up’ fund, a move that could boost the local tourism and leisure sector.
Speaking to the BBC after details emerged of the planned work on a seven mile section between Llanymynech and Arddleen near Welshpool, volunteer Becky Watson said she looked forward to the day when boats could travel from one end of the canal to the other.
“We’d all like to see it navigable again. I had a holiday at the other end of the canal back in 2000 and that was fantastic,” she remarked.
The latest project will require the building of two new bridges over the canal, as well as restoring the waterway at some filled-in sections. This will help connect the southern section running from Arddleen to Berriew with the northern part in Shropshire that passes to the east of Oswestry.
When it was first built, the canal was used to transport goods such as lime, coal, wood and wool. Like other canals across the UK, it fell into disuse as other modes of transport such as road and rail proved faster. These days, hiring a van would be a much quicker way to get goods to and from a town like Oswestry.
However, as the Canal and River Trust has noted, some goods are still transported by canal today, which can lower carbon emissions.
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