British Waterways public consultation

BRITISH Waterways will be holding a public consultation on Thursday, October 30, between 12.30pm and 4.30pm at the Maritime Museum in Lancaster for the forthcoming makeover of the Lune Aqueduct on the Lancaster Canal.

The Magnificent Lune Aqueduct is to be given a 2m facelift as part of ambitious plans to develop Lancaster Canal as a key visitor centre and economic generator for the North West.The plans will make the Grade I listed aqueduct – which carries the picturesque Lancaster Canal over the River Lune – more accessible and visually appealing to visitors, in addition to underpinning the structural integrity of the aqueduct for decades to come. The scheme to restore this 200 year old architectural giant has been drawn up by British Waterways North West and in the financial year 2009/10 will deliver:

* A relined canal channel;

*Renew corroded trench sheet wash walls;

* A re-pointed stone aqueduct trough;

* New paving to both sides of canal along aqueduct;

* Re-pointed open joints in masonry arch;

* Rebuilt walls along edge of turning basin south of bridge;

* New drain plug in bed of canal basin;

* Vegetation removal from the structure.

As well as the proposed scheme, the public are invited along to the consultation session to put forward their ideas and suggestions for improving the Lune Aqueduct for all to enjoy.

Steve Higham, economic and social development officer said: "Works to improve this mighty structure will begin in the new financial year. It is important that we gauge the views of as many local people at this consultation to ensure the works we undertake will benefit the local communities as well as key visitors."A range of additional enhancements would improve access to the site, while further promoting community and visitor engagement with John Rennie's historic masterpiece.This additional vision comprises:

* A range of access improvements to enhance linkages between canal and * Millennium Cycleway;

* Towpath upgrades;

* Ecologically friendly structural lighting

* Interpretation and signposts, providing information in relation to the structures development and historical significance;

* Ecological improvements including vegetation management and preperation of a landscape management plan;

* Additional safety features;

* Provision of a new visitor car park at Caton Road.