Issue - meetings

Warwickshire Waterways Strategy - progress report and action plan

Meeting: 13/12/2023 - Resources and Fire & Rescue Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 6)

6 Warwickshire Waterways Strategy - progress report and action plan pdf icon PDF 3 MB

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The item was introduced by Ayub Khan (Head of Libraries, Heritage and Culture and Registration Services), who reminded members that Cabinet had agreed to the creation of a Waterways Strategy in 2021. Among its aims were the promotion of safe travelling, water safety and combatting climate change. It was also intended to develop the sense of place by encouraging more visitors to use Warwickshire’s waterways, including through the use of waterside paths by walkers and cyclists. Partnerships had been created, the most notable being with the Canal and River Trust and the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.


Ayub Khan said the biggest piece of work conducted as part of the strategy was a survey of the towpath network. This highlighted where improvements needed to be made as part of the wider strategy to make Warwickshire more accessible for walkers and cyclists, with a report of more than 100 pages being compiled as a result. Members were also told the South Warwickshire GP Federation had helped to identify ways in which the strategy could help meet social prescribing needs.


Responding to a question from Councillor Boad, Ayub Khan said there would be annual progress reports on the development and implementation of the strategy.


Councillor Feeney said it was important to ensure that towpaths were wheelchair accessible. She said it was also important to preserve buildings with a cultural or heritage significance. She said there were still active communities associated with canal locks, and some buildings alongside lock gates had been demolished.


Councillor Butlin said consideration needed to be given to joint use of some paths by cyclists and walkers, because in some places paths were not wide enough to accommodate both. Ayub Khan said the Canal and River Trust had provided the Council with ways of measuring footfall to improve knowledge of which routes were seeing the most use, and where improvements needed to be made.


Members noted the contents of the report and the action plan.