One of the benefits that a well-maintained and broad towpath offers is that it becomes a safe and relatively flat path in which both mums with pushchairs and people with mobility problems can safely enjoy the tranquillity and open air space that the canals offer. During the reconstruction of the canal, with help from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, the towpath was widened and surfaced in a way disability scooters, wheelchairs as well as buggies and prams can all enjoy the environment that has been recreated.
We have developed a specific disability route map which indicates it is straightforward for disabled users to access and enjoy the towpath. Regrettably developments over the past 100 years have in two places meant that diversion routes are needed to connect where obstacles have been constructed. The largest diversion is the two locks at Dudbridge where you have to leave the canal at Hilly Orchard and re-join at Chestnut Lane, with a shorter diversion around Bowbridge Locks. In both cases, the routes are clearly signposted and we hope that the dedicated map will make selecting a route simple and straightforward.