PEOPLE are being asked to steer clear of the canal towpath between Bradley and Kildwick following the resumption of improvement work.

The work - part of a £2 million project involving almost seven miles of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Craven - was suspended at the end of March because of the coronavirus lockdown, but following a change in Government advice, contractors are now back on site.

But, says the Canal and River Trust, the work is being held up because people are ignoring closure signs and fencing and continuing to walk along the towpath.

Luke Edwards, project manager at the Canal and River Trust, said: “It is really important that people take notice of the signage and fencing. The safety of members of the public, staff and contractors is our primary concern, and it will be difficult to maintain the correct social distancing measures if people ignore the temporary closure.

“We would ask for the public’s patience and cooperation while the work is carried out, with closures in place for at least five weeks. Please bear with us and respect the signs and help keep everyone safe. Once complete, the towpath will be back open with a vastly improved surface making it easier for local people to visit the canal and get closure to nature.”

He added: “We know that spending time on the canal is good for people’s health and wellbeing. Please just remember to observe social distancing at all times – keeping away from other people and moored boats. Cyclists should remember that pedestrians have priority so they should be ready to go slow and give way.”

Funding for the project has come from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development with further support from Craven District Council and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.

The towpath is being resurfaced with a natural limestone material to create a durable and compact surface. It will be widened at key hotspots, including Gargrave and Broughton Road, to provide better access to and from Skipton railway station and employment sites in the town, and there will also be new welcome and information signs pointing people to places of interest and public facilities.

For the latest information on closures, visit and search “Leeds and Liverpool Canal”.