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Stafford Riverway Link

Vision: To promote the restoration of the historic river and canal waterway linking the County Town of Stafford and the National Waterway Network for the benefit of the community and all interested groups.

The original purpose of the canal was to supply Stafford with coal, and to this point the canal terminated at Bridge Street opposite the brine baths that existed then. The aim is to re-connect the waterway network to the town centre of Stafford, finishing approx 200 yards before the original terminus.

Stafford Riverway Link has been undertaking investigations and have now reached the stage where a scoping survey suggested the project is feasible. A brief has been created for an Engineering Survey. The connection at Baswich is undergoing works to uncover the old Lock House foundations and to enclose the area covering the original garden and pig sty. In 2015, a new signpost, built to the basic specification of the other posts on the Staffs & Worcs Canal, was erected. When the surveys are completed with costings and an agreement with the Environment Agency has been obtained, it is hoped to complete the basin at Baswich and connect with the Staffs & Worcs Canal before completing the connection to Stafford. The regeneration of Stafford town centre is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2016 and should leave a small area to be used for mooring and as a turning point in the future.

The tourism benefit to Stafford are substantial. There will be new waterside leisure facilities in the centre of the town and it is intended that there should be pontoon moorings close to the new cafes, shopping area and cinema complex. The other benefits would include a towpath and cycleway across the flood plain from Baswich, which would connect with the existing Sustrans route currently terminating at Fairway Bridge.

Site of junction bridge on Staffs & Worcs Canal at Baswich, Stafford Riverway Link

Site of junction bridge on Staffs & Worcs Canal at Baswich, Stafford Riverway Link. Photo courtesy Phil Sharpe