TWO miles of a canal towpath between Rotherham and Tinsley will close for improvement works.
Rotherham Borough Council is resurfacing the stretch beside the Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation canal from Monday.
All access points will be closed from Don Street to Wharf Road Bridge until the autumn. A diversion via Sheffield Road will be signposted.
The remainder of the path near to Rotherham United's New York Stadium will be also be improved later in the year and during 2014.
The canal will still be navigable by boat but users will need to take care when accessing the locks on this stretch, as plant and machinery will be in operation along the towpath.
Cllr Gerald Smith, Rotherham’s Cabinet member for regeneration, apologised for the disruption but hoped that the many users of the popular route would understand the need for the closure.
He said: “The towpath is currently an unmade surface and is prone to becoming muddy and to retaining surface water during heavy rain.
“The path is already very popular but, by providing a waterproof, all-weather surface I am sure it will be appreciated even more by all walkers, cyclists and anglers once works are completed.”
Cllr Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet member for Business, Skills and Development said: “When the towpath opens again after the temporary closure the scheme will be one step closer to an excellent cycle and walking route between the centres of Rotherham and Sheffield which can only be good for both local residents and businesses alike.”
Rotherham Council is investing £300,000 of Local Sustainable Transport Funding into the scheme, which is being carried out in partnership with Sheffield City Council and the Canal & River Trust, with the aim to improve cycling and walking links between Rotherham, the Lower Don Valley and Sheffield City Centre.