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Ocean towpath to reopen in time for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

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People will be able to walk along the canal towpath and under the newly-constructed Ocean Jubilee Bridge in time for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend.

The towpath between Ocean swing bridge and Bond’s Mill near Stonehouse has been closed since October 2021 to allow the previous railway bridge to be replaced by Network Rail at Christmas.

The old railway bridge had a narrow opening that was too small for boats to pass through, and its replacement is a key part of the Cotswold Canals Connected project to connect the Stroudwater Canal to the national waterway network at Saul.

Ocean Bridge 2021 | Ocean towpath to reopen in time for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations
The old Ocean Railway Bridge, photographed in June 2021. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

A team of canal volunteers replaced the towpath between the bridges in time for the official opening of Ocean Jubilee Bridge on 23rd May, however it remained closed to the public while investigations were carried out to identify the source of water seeping from the ground nearby.

The towpath will reopen by noon on Wednesday, June 1st.

Chris Mitford-Slade, Cotswold Canals Connected project director said: “We’re delighted that this part of the towpath will be open for members of the public to enjoy once again.

“It’s especially fitting that the people will be able to walk under the new bridge in time for the long bank holiday weekend as it was renamed Ocean Jubilee Bridge in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.”

Another closure of the towpath will be required in the coming months to allow further restoration works to the canal and towpath between Ocean and Bond’s Mill.

boat | Ocean towpath to reopen in time for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations
The first vessels passed beneath the new bridge in April. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

Notices advising of closures will be placed along the towpath and on the Cotswold Canals Connected website www.cotswoldcanalsconnected.org and social media accounts.

Cotswold Canals Connected is a partnership of organisations led by Stroud District Council and the Cotswold Canals Trust which are restoring the canal network which will connect to the national waterway network.

The partnership is committed to significant outcomes for wildlife, people and communities, and our canal heritage.

Find out more about Cotswold Canals Connected at www.cotswoldcanalsconnected.org and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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