The Cotswold Canals Trust is working with SDC and other partners to restore the local canal network.
The current phase of the project includes reinstating the waterway, locks, bridges and wetlands which were destroyed when the A38/A419 roundabout and the M5 were built in the 1960s. This is part of the so-called ‘missing mile’.
£872,000 of development ‘starter’ money came from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2018, and the Trust will find out early next year if ‘Cotswold Canals Connected’ will receive all of the £9 million for the whole Stonehouse/Saul stretch from Lottery funding.
Much of the overall restoration work is being done by CCT volunteers but where the project crosses major rail or road infrastructure, the works will be professionally procured and undertaken by contractors.
In May 2019 Highways England awarded £4 million towards the infrastructure needed for restoration of the missing mile. The work required on the roundabout, as shown in the picture, has now been given the go-ahead and contractors and will commence work this month (December 2019).
The project will enhance historic features near to the M5 and A38, will increase biodiversity with more than 30 hectares of wildlife habitats, will improve flood prevention measures and will provide for community orchards. The scheme will also provide an off-carriageway pedestrian and cycle route through the roundabout.
No doubt some disruption to traffic will occur, – but this time in a really worthwhile and eco-friendly cause!