CYCLISTS and pedestrians using the Bridgewater Canal towpath are to benefit from a £1.5 million funding boost.

Trafford Council and Transport for Greater Manchester made a successful bid for funding to deliver the next three phases of the Bridgewater Way.

The grant, from the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, will pay for upgrades to another five miles of the Trafford towpath and a number of improvements to access points and routes to the canal over the next couple of years.

This will include sections between Brooklands and Broadheath, through Trafford Park and to Manchester United.

This will build on the recent work by Trafford Council, Peel and the sustainable transport charity Sustrans, which has put in place a major upgrade to around three miles of the canal tow path between Sale and Stretford.

Executive councillor Alan Mitchell said: "The Bridgewater Way is a fantastic resource for local people. I would encourage everyone to get active - on foot or on their bikes - and explore this great route for travelling to work, the shops, or the school run, or just to get out and enjoy the great outdoors! I am looking forward to the opportunity to walk and cycle much further on the Bridgewater Way as it expands thanks to the new funding we have secured."

This is all part of a much wider Bridgewater Way project which ultimately hopes to improve the Bridgewater canal tow path along its entire 39 mile length from Runcorn to Manchester and Leigh.