Wolverhampton – Canals Become Popular Again!

Councillor Phil Bateman said today – “The Local Canal system in Wednesfield and across Wolverhampton is making a huge impact on community life.

Once they were little used amenities. Attracting few people and often treated with disdain by local communities and neighbourhoods. But over the last few years, and most certainly here in Wednesfield during this coronavirus pandemic . We have seen an explosion of use.

Towpath use and the discovery of our canals by local people have seen some spectacular growth.

The Canal and River Trust have informed me that the average daily count during April, and the average daily count so far during this third lockdown, all compared to the pre lockdown baseline, show continuing increase of the towpath use. Clearly these statistics indicate that neighbourhoods and communities are using these wonderful rural and historic waterways in a way that hasn’t quite been seen, for decades -if ever at all.

These range from 72% increase in Coventry to 172% in Wolverhampton!

I know that here in Wolverhampton our local canals are being coveted by many users. That is why it hurts so much when people tip their rubbish and their unwanted garbage along the canals. There are some magnificent people who pick rubbish up in family groups and individually. They have done so through out the lockdown and I take my hat off to them.

But today its the good news that I am beaming about . Our Local Nature Reserve which runs the length of the Wyrley and Essington canal inside the City boundary keeps interests high.

The waterfowl are attracting admiring glances and the young of all the various species that makes their home on this waterway. Continually attracts families with young children. “

Its Mental Health Week- and this amenity is a really great way to help combat some of the issues that affect people with mental health problems. Take a walk along your Local canal and look closely at the flowers and wildlife!

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more