Sunday, 26 April 2015

Ashton Canal Update

A quick update on the resurfacing of the Ashton Canal towpath as part of the Velocity 2025 works. We managed to walk the entire canal today in the sunshine and saw the progress being made. The first section of the canal path is unchanged.

There was some litter picking and planting being done by volunteers around New Islington.

The sections of cobbles at the locks are as bad as ever, and getting worse with the water and frost damage over the winter.

The Cyclists dismount signs have not been removed.

The wide section of path along the side of the Football Academy is now beginning to look good with the new trees planted. This was not part of the Velocity works.

Unfortunately the anti-cycling barriers have not been removed - this is the only one where the gate remains locked, though wider machines can get a bit more space on the right.

The new section of tarmac starts just after Clayton Lane.

Though the cobbles are not being covered, which is dangerous.

What this does mean is that it is now possible to reach the Stockport Branch Canal route from the centre of Manchester without having to cycle through mud.

At Crabtree Lane there is more sign of the work being in progress.

Along this section some of the locks didn't have cobbles so the path is fully tarmaced.

Again the barriers have not been removed.

The tarmac currently runs out at the Marina in Fairfield, the junction with the old Holinwood Branch Canal.

The path is gravel from here awaiting the tarmac finish.

After the bridge under Market Street, the tarmac returns. Care is needed at this point as it is the works base. It is good to see that they are using the canal to transport the stone from this point.

Unfortunately whilst the path itself is going to have a high quality finish for most of the way, the same can't be said for the access paths at the moment.

The tarmac ends just before the Hill Lane bridge.

From here some sections have yet to get the gravel foundation.

The last section of gravel

ends at the bridge under the M60 motorway.

From here on there has been nothing done to the path and e saw several people cycling gingerly through the mud.

Those on road and touring bikes were not doing at all well.

The path is very bad in places.

The last section through Guide Bridge isn't too bad

and the sign just before the junction with the Peek Forest Canal suggests that the resurfacing will get this far.

For updates on the path works and closures you can go to the Canal and River Trust web site.


  1. Did this route on Friday from my flat in Stalybridge to Castlefield. Such a great improvement. Got there a lot quicker and a lot more comfortable on my Hybrid :D

  2. Some "high quality" surface would be very welcome. With the exception of the section past the football academy, all the new tarmac I have ridden up this canal and on the link to the Fallowfield Loop has been uniformly dreadful.

  3. The surfaces were really good until a couple of weeks ago where they have gravelled the section up by the Stockport Branch Canal. I hope they do more to it as at present it's pretty un-ridable.