To prepare bridge 70 of the Uttoxeter Canal for restoration work, and undertake investigations to reveal the condition of the bridge foundations.
Bridge 70 is the only remaining intact bridge on the closed Uttoxeter Canal. The overall project (7a, 7b, 7b contingency) will restore the bridge, which carries public footpaths 40/43, and improve access to it from the nearby Staffordshire Way. This will encourage visitors to visit this interesting feature, increase use of the footpath, and promote awareness of the Canal and the plans to restore it.
Fit to existing strategies and objectives
An outline feasibility study was commissioned by Staffordshire County Council and the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust to look at restoration of the Uttoxeter Canal. The report, published in November 2009 by Halcrow Engineering concluded that “…this is a technically feasible project.” Among the recommended next steps was volunteer-led clearance of the line of the canal between Alton and Crumpwood. Improvement of the canal and towpath by Bridge 70 will be the first part of this clearance work.
Comprehensive description of the project
CVLLP 7 projects are the initial CUCT programme of activity designed to involve the community and volunteers from further afield in work camps. Once an ecological survey has determine how work is to progress work camps will clear vegetation and undertake initial work to expose Bridge 70 and the piece of canal immediately underneath it, allowing expert contractors access to carry out an investigation of the foundations.
Works programmed in 2013 managed by CUCT with support from Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) and CVLLP partners. A temporary Project Manager will be required to ensure on-time and on-budget delivery of the project.
- Remove vegetation and trees adjacent to the bridge
- Investigate the condition of the bridge foundations
Who will benefit?
Local Community, leisure visitors in general
Outputs and outcomes
- Clearance of vegetation and trees adjacent to Bridge 70
- Investigation of the condition of the foundationsof Bridge 70
- 50+ volunteers gain experience in vegetation management etc
- A full understanding of the condition of the foundations of Bridge 70 and the cost of any remedial works required
Ownership of the bridge and canal are being investigated at the time of writing. The canal has been derelict in the area since 1849 and exact boundaries are not defined on the ground. Adjacent landowners on both sides of the canal are supportive of this project. This issue will be resolved before any works begin.
What happens when the project is finished?
Remedial works will be undertaken on the foundations if required (CVLLP 7b)
Repairs to the bridge will be undertaken (CVLLP 7b contingency)
Risks and constraints
Risk: Failure to recruit or retain suitable numbers and quality of volunteers.
Contingency planning: The Trust will work closely with the national Waterway Recovery Group to monitor volunteer numbers. Waterway Recovery Group has experience over many years of scheduling this type of work. The number of work parties (two week-long and one weekend work parties) can be increased if the project falls behind schedule. Informal locally based work parties will also be held as required.
Project Delivery Risks
Risk: Poor weather may reduce our ability to deliver the project within described timescales.
Contingency planning: Work parties can be rescheduled if conditions are unsuitable. Works where inclement weather would be a factor, such as repair and re-pointing of the bridge, have been scheduled for the summer months to reduce risk.
Constraints, licences, permits etc.
The bridge is not a listed structure and is not in a Conservation Area so no formal permissions are required for works at this stage.
The bridge and towpath are situated near to land owned by South Staffs Water and Staffordshire County Council. JCB own the access route from the public highway to the site. Alton Towers also own land within 20m of the site. All have been kept informed of the planned works and are supportive of the scheme.
An ecological study of the area will be undertaken before any works begin, and any recommendations followed. Tree works have been scheduled to not conflict with the nesting season.
During preparatory work we will manage invasive species in conjunction with the Big Pull (Participation Project) (CVLLP 9) and the dedicated professional action of the canal vegetation project (CVLLP 5).
The Caldon and Uttoxeter Canals Trust will maintain high levels of biosecurity while undertaking projects. They will also work with others to raise the awareness of biosecurity issues within the valley.
Reduce travel: Volunteers on both week long and weekend work parties will stay in local accommodation arranged by the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust. Travel to and from site each day will be done in Waterway Recovery Group minibuses. Locally based volunteers will be encouraged to car share or to cycle to the site. There is no public transport provision within 2 miles of the project area.
Discipline: Volunteers will be expected to comply with the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust Environmental Policy.