Friday, 14 August 2009

Neath Canal link complete

It may look more utilitarian than elegant (it will probably seem more part of the landscape as the concrete weathers), but the replacement Ynysbwllog aqueduct finally in place restores the Neath Canal from Glynneath to the town centre. Not only is the canal now completely in water, including the section in Clyne which had also been blocked, it is also possible to walk the entire canal path, crossing a main road - in Tonna - only once. There are two fallen trees across the canal between Tonna and Resolven, but removing these should be a relatively simple matter.

Once the problem of security of boats has been solved, the way is open for a regular summer service of boat trips through the beauties of the Neath valley. We residents have long known about these; it is time to publicise them in England and further afield to people who up until now have only associated the word "industrial" with South Wales.

The reinstatement of the aqueduct, and the reconstruction of three locks on the canal, was made possible by grants from the European Union.


Anonymous said...

If we had a network of canals across the whole of the UK we could move water from areas of high rainfall to areas with less rainfall (in addition to the obvious transport and tourism uses). In addition, we could export water to the third world, I understand Israel gets most of it's water from Turkey!

Frank H Little said...

With our traditional structure of separate water-boards, succeeded by separate commercial companies, it is unlikely that a national water grid will ever be implemented, though it has often been discussed.

That suggestion of Turkey as the main source of Israel's water is a new one on me. I do know there has been criticism of excessive extraction from the Jordan. The trouble seems to be from incomers used to a Western life-style, not the sabras.

Steve Walters said...

Interesting blog.

Thank you for linking to our Website Frank!

Regarding the National Water Grid / network of UK canals, it does appear that British Waterways and other organisations would love this - as alywas it's down to funding.

We are a key part of a British Waterways vision to link Swansea Valley Canal with the Neath Tennant Canal. And are constantly working toward such. Currently, our projects consist of (but not limited to) - Pontardawe Canal regeneration, Swansea's Coed Gwylim Park's Canal access and Canoe activities, and working with SusTrans to open up the canal/towpath past Clydach Swansea Council Depot.

Add to your bloog updates please. Thanks.

Steve Walters, Vice Chair,, Pontardawe, Wales, UK.

Frank H Little said...

It's good to see that Tennant Navigation Company is actively improving access to the Tennant Canal tow-paths, and working with the authorities to discourage the anti-social elements who make use by the general public so unpleasant.

There is surely scope for developing the canal for leisure activities, now that its major source of income, supply of fresh water to BP, has been stopped.