To restore bridge 70 of the Uttoxeter Canal, improve the adjacent canal and its towpath
Bridge 70 is the only remaining intact bridge on the closed Uttoxeter Canal. This project will restore the bridge, which carries public footpaths 40/43, and improve access to it from the nearby Staffordshire Way. This will encourage visitors to visit this interesting feature, increase use of the footpath, and promote awareness of the Canal and the plans to restore it.
Until project CVLLP 7a is complete we will not know if Bridge 70 requires underpinning, this project assumes it does, Bridge 70 contingency (CVLLP 7b) is in place should it not be required.
Fit to existing strategies and objectives
An outline feasibility study was commissioned by Staffs County Council and the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust to look at restoration of the Uttoxeter Canal. The report, published in November 2009 by Halcrow Engineering concluded that “…this is a technically feasible project.” Among the recommended next steps was volunteer-led clearance of the line of the canal between Alton and Crumpwood. Improvement of the canal and towpath by Bridge 70 will be the first part of this clearance work.
Comprehensive description of the project
Bridge 70 7b project is a capital CUCT programme to underpin the bridge should post-work parties (7a) show that underpinning is necessary.
Works programmed 2013 to 2015 managed by CUCT with support from Waterway Recovery Group and CVLLP partners. A temporary Project Manager will be required to ensure on-time and on-budget delivery of the project.
- Investigate and stabilise bridge foundations as required.
Who will benefit?
Local Community, leisure visitors in general
Outputs and outcomes
- Restoration of Bridge 70
- Visitors to this part of the Staffordshire Way have increased awareness of the Uttoxeter Canal and its role in the industrial heritage of the area.
- Improved understanding of the technical, ecological and biosecurity issues arising from further restoration projects on the Uttoxeter Canal.
Ownership of the bridge and canal are being investigated at the time of writing. The canal has been derelict in the area since 1849 and exact boundaries are not defined on the ground. Adjacent landowners on both sides of the canal are supportive of this project. This issue will be resolved before any works begin.
What happens when the project is finished?
The consolidation of Bridge 70 will safeguard this important piece of heritage for the next fifty years (at least). It will also act as evidence of the commitment of the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership to continue with significant heritage progress toward the reinstatement of the Uttoxeter Canal.
Technical, ecological and biosecurity information gained from this project will allow the Trust to more accurately scope the next sections of restoration of the Uttoxeter Canal.
Risks and constraints
Constraints, licences, permits etc
The bridge is not a listed structure and is not in a Conservation Area so only standard planning permission will be required for the modifications to the bridge parapets. The Local Authority has already indicated their support for the scheme, which accords with their own policies.
The bridge and towpath are situated near to land owned by South Staffs Water and Staffordshire County Council. JCB own the access route from the public highway to the site. Alton Towers also own land within 20m of the site. All have been kept informed of the planned works and are supportive of the scheme.
All parties will be kept fully notified of schedules of work. The exact schedule and nature of the works will depend on the investigation of foundations to be undertaken as the first part of the project. No work will be undertaken until we have agreements from all interested parties, as listed above.
Clearing out the line of the canal will have a small but positive effect on flood risk management in the area.
During access work along the canal route we will manage invasive species in conjunction with the Big Pull (lead by participation project CVLLP 9) and the dedicated professional action of the canal vegetation project (CVLLP 5).
The Caldon and Uttoxeter Canals Trust will maintain high levels of biosecurity while undertaking projects. They will also work with others to raise the awareness of biosecurity issues within the valley. One of the defined outputs of the project is to establish biosecure best practice for future restoration projects on the Uttoxeter Canal.
Reduce travel: Volunteers on both week long and weekend work parties will stay in local accommodation arranged by the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust. Travel to and from site each day will be done in Waterway Recovery Group minibuses. Locally based volunteers will be encouraged to car share or to cycle to the site. There is no public transport provision within 2 miles of the project area.
Discipline: Volunteers will be expected to comply with the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust Environmental Policy.