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Gloucestershire Business News

Plan to link the 'missing mile' of Gloucestershire canal approved by county council

The £4million plan to restore the "missing mile" of the county's canal network has been approved by Gloucestershire County Council.

Council cabinet this week resolved to push ahead with the plan that would see a mile of the Stroudwater Navigation be linked to the waterways network.

For half-a-century the section has been out of use following the destruction of a bridge and lock during the construction of the A419 and M5 motorway.

It meant that the canal effectively stopped at the point it reaches the A38 at Whitminster from the west and at Spring Hill near Stonehouse to the east.

However, that is now set to be linked together again after the County Council resolved to connect the two ends at Saul Junction and Stonehous.

The plan would mean bridges and a towpath being built by the A38 and A419 with walking and cycling routes also part of the scheme.

The Cotswold Canals Trust has been leading the calls to restore the network and Highways England announced in May it would provide £4million towards the cost of the project.

Now the council has approved becoming the client to manage the work and now a tender process will begin for the final details of the scheme to be planned.

The aim is to complete the works in 2020 with engagement events to take place before work begins so local residents and businesses are given more information about the project.

Ahead of the cabinet meeting councillor Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways, said: "This is an excellent project that will see the 'missing mile' of the canal network restored.

"It will provide a new walking and cycling route, attracting more visitors to the area which will boost the economy, and I'm pleased to see this is set to go ahead."

Councillor Stephen Davies, local county councillor for Hardwicke and Severn, added: "As well as a restored canal, this project will have a positive impact on the area.

"It will improve more than 30 hectares of wildlife habitats and leave a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy for years to come.

"I'm sure this will be widely welcomed and I look forward to seeing the project take shape."

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