Go-ahead to remove block on Montgomery Canal work in Shropshire
Removal of one of the last obstacles to the restoration of the Montgomery Canal in Shropshire has been given the go-ahead.
Shropshire County Council has given the go-ahead for a railway embankment which crosses the Montgomery Canal at Railway Bridge 89 at Pant near Oswestry to be taken away.
The Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust has embarked on a major phase of reopening the canal all the way from Lower Frankton near Ellesmere to Newtown.
It wants to remove the embankment and reinstate the bridge.
Council officers in a report to the council said that at present an embankment crossed the canal, creating an abrupt barrier to any restoration works as well as for people trying to use the line of the towpath for leisure purposes.
"The plan is to remove the embankment across the line of the canal down to the canal towpath level. The excavation of the channel will take place at a later date when the full restoration is carried out," the report said.
"The embankment was put in place in order to enable the route of a railway line, this is no longer in place and unlikely to be reintroduced."
About 50 per cent of the 35-mile long canal has already been restored.
With the help of volunteers, and the Canal and Rivers Trust work on the next stage, funded by the Heritage Lottery should be completed by 2020. It will see a further one and a quarter miles of the canal and a ‘winding hole’ reopen to Crickheath, Shropshire.
It will also improve access to the canal, create new nature reserves and improve almost four miles of towpath between Welshpool and Llanymynech on the English border.