PLANS to improve a 3km stretch of towpath in south Craven have been revealed as part of £900,000 bid for government cash.

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive members for business and environmental services will meet this Friday to approve the bid for upgrades between Kildwick and Silsden along the Leeds and Liverpool canal.

Residents have long campaigned for improvements to the route which is popular with walkers and cyclists but has been described as “dangerous” to use in poor conditions.

Ward councillor Andrew Brown said: “This time of year the path is just rock hard but in the middle of winter it can be seriously muddy and problematic.

“Everybody who walks along there gets frustrated with the condition that it is in – and this is an issue I get asked about every month.

“We have been campaigning for these improvements for a long time and very much welcome this move for a bid.”

Other parts of the towpath along the 127-mile Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which is the longest in Britain, have been progressively upgraded over recent years including a £2m project to improve stretches between Skipton and Gargrave, and Bradley and Kildwick.

The plans for the Kildwick to Silsden link include a better connection from Cross Hills to Priest Bank Road, the widening of a pedestrian underpass and ramped access to Cononley Lane End.

The £900,000 costs would cover works along a 2km stretch which sits within North Yorkshire, with further funding to be provided for the other 1km which sits within West Yorkshire.

A report to Friday’s meeting said the scheme is ready for construction and would be led by the Canals and Rivers Trust if the bid to the government’s Active Travel Fund is successful.

If approved by councillors on Friday, a government decision on the bid is expected in autumn and the funds would have to be spent before March 2023.