Council plans £1.3m investment in improving Rochdale Canal

Reporter: Niall Griffiths
Date published: 07 August 2020

Plans to invest £1.3m into parts of the Rochdale Canal leading out of Manchester city centre have gone out to public consultation.

The city council wants to double the number of people cycling and walking along a 4.2km-long section of the route between Great Ancoats Street and Droylsden Road in Oldham.

The changes would see the towpath resurfaced and widened in places to allow for a two-way cyclepath and Toucan crossing points when it leaves the canal.

Dropped kerbs are also planned to make the route more accessible, while new signage will flag up local points of interest and warning makers near the water will make the route safer.

It is also hoped that the route will provide better ‘cross-canal’ links to schools and other facilities in Miles Platting and Newton Heath.

Councillor Angeliki Stogia, executive member for environment, planning and transport in Manchester, said: “We know that people want to see an improved path for safer cycling and walking along the Rochdale Canal and are determined to create a much more attractive route, which people actively choose to use and which will link up communities along the canal.  

“Enhancing the local environment in this way will help to remove barriers to healthier active travel into the city centre and to local schools and amenities, reducing reliance on the car for shorter journeys.”

The plans have been given a ‘muted welcome’ by community group Walk Ride GM, who said the canal is ‘ripe for renewal’ having been neglected for a long time.

But Tristan Quinn, the Walk Ride borough coordinator for Rochdale, fears the changes will only benefit a small number of people.

He said: “I don’t think it’s for the masses, it’s not going to revolutionize travel as it’s more of a leisure route.

“Unless you’re going to a destination directly on the canal it’s not going to benefit you greatly.

“If you want to leave the canal then you’re spat back onto roads and then you’ve got the problems the roads currently have.”

To have your say on the consultation, which closes on September 1, click here

Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.