Canal & River Trust and Cheshire West and Chester Council have agreed a joint programme of works on the rock cutting alongside the Shropshire Union Canal at Northgate, Chester to enable the towpath to open as soon as possible.

Work will begin on Monday 4 February, initially to clear vegetation from the area which is being carried out by Canal & River Trust contractors and volunteers.  Following a close inspection of the rock face loose rock will be then removed and made safe.  The work is expected to take around two and half months.

The towpath has remained closed and repairs have been delayed because ownership of the rock face is in dispute.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore said: “We appreciate how frustrating the closure has been for local residents and visitors but there is a risk of falling rock from the face of the cutting. Our priority is always to keep visitors and residents safe.

“We will now be working with Canal & River Trust to ensure the area is made safe as soon as possible so the popular towpath can be opened.

Sally Boddy, regional engineer from Canal & River Trust said: “We’re pleased to be working jointly with Cheshire West & Chester Council to get the popular towpath in Chester opened.

“We know how upsetting it has been for everyone who uses this vital resource in the city centre and we apologise for the delay.”