A SECTION of a canalside route has opened so that people can more easily enjoy the waterway.

Opening a one mile section which runs from King Street bridge to Elizabeth Street in Leigh will greatly is aimed at improving access.

The towpath has been completed and is now suitable for walkers, cyclists, wheelchairs, buggies, fishermen, indeed anyone who enjoys spending time along the canal side. Works is continuing on street furniture installation and signage.

Elsewhere on the Bridgewater Way sections are being opened in Salford; from Liverpool Road to Patricroft, and Runcorn; from Waterloo Bridge in the centre of a Runcorn to the village of Moore.

Now after being part of the winning Connect2 bid to win a slice of £50 million lottery grant, the Sale to Stretford section of the Bridgewater Way in Trafford is now undergoing detailed planning. In total almost 10 miles of the 40 mile stretch have now been regeneration and are open to the public.

Mike Butterworth of Peel Holdings, which owns the waterway, said: “We are delighted to have opened this section of the Bridgewater Way in Leigh. We are opening a number of sections this month and are now a quarter of the way through completing this fantastic project.

"Once complete the Bridgewater Way will open up the canal side to all users enabling people to enjoy the beauty of this valued historic asset.”

The local section of the canal is a key artery in the Greenheart project, which is working to make the countryside more accessible to local people.

Jo Harrop, Greenheart project manager, said: “This is a great scheme which supports what Greenheart is all about – linking up local communities with the countryside and helping people travel round the area in a sustainable, fun and healthy way. The canal is a great resource and the improvements will make it much easier for people to enjoy it."

Work on the Leigh section was funded jointly through the European Regional Development Fund, Wigan Council and the Bridgewater Canal Trust.