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Improved Disabled Access to the Grand Union Canal Towpath

29th March 2004

Improved Disabled Access to the Grand Union Canal Towpath

On Wednesday morning (24 March) the new disabled access from the car park at the Aquadrome to the towpath and on to Batchworth Lock and beyond to the Iron Bridge Lock in Watford was officially opened.

As a result of the improvements, the towpath won't waterlog and can cope with the different needs of wheelchairs, double-buggies, bicycles and pedestrians.

Councillor Elizabeth Boléat, Chairman of Three Rivers District Council, who cut the ribbon, said: "The towpath integrates perfectly with its rural surroundings. It does not draw attention to itself or look over-engineered. The users who will most appreciate its smooth, high-tech surface are the people it is aimed at - those who have difficulty walking or who are in wheelchairs."

The improvements to the towpath on the three quarter mile Rickmansworth stretch include enhanced access to the fishing platforms for disabled anglers in the Aquadrome and beside the canal, and new information boards set at the right height to be read by wheelchair users.

This is part of a joint project that crosses local authority boundaries and draws on the expertise and funds of numerous organisations to create uninterrupted disabled access from the border of the Colne Valley Regional Park in the south, to the Iron Bridge Lock area of north Watford.

British Waterways, The Countryside Agency, the Rural Transport Partnership, Groundwork-Hertfordshire, the County Council's Highways Division, Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council have come together on this Wider Welcome project to pool their time, expertise and resources. New leaflets describing the scheme are available from the Council offices.