Issue date: 4th March 2013
Canal & River Trust has made available a report demonstrating some of the benefits of waterway restoration, following re-opening of the Droitwich Canals in 2011. The report, which may be useful for restoration groups seeking to show how a re-opened waterway has captured the minds and enthusiasm of both local residents and visitors from further afield, has been made publicly available via IWA's website by Canal & River Trust.
The report shows since opening in July 2011, the Droitwich Canals have been very well used and gives summary data captured between July 2011 and March 2012.
Despite opening late in the season the canal had 1600 boat movements. The numbers look set to exceed the anticipated target of 3300 after 5 years. 2013 will be the first season hire boat operators will be advertising the "ring".
CRT monitors towpath use by pedestrians and cyclists at two locations with towpath counters. Over the period July to October, comparing 2010 with 2011, there was a 30% increase in users at Vines Park (close to the centre of Droitwich) and a 19% increase at the urban fringe location of Chawson. The actual numbers are 105,745 and 27,309 respectively.
Tourist Information Centre Visitors (TIC) records visitors and saw a 50% increase since the opening.
Supplementary Planning Guidance is in place and one of the significant waterway related developments received consent and started construction. The construction of a £3m, 238 berth marina close to Droitwich Rugby Club has also taken place.
Local businesses saw an increase in trade over the opening weekend and are now planning an annual canal festival to encourage trade in the town.
20 heritage structures were conserved and 5.5 hectares of thriving reed bed was constructed.
Read the full Droitwich Canals Restoration Guide (PDF)