The Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin officially re-opened the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath between Milnsbridge and Slaithwaite.

The mayor was joined by Clr Manisha Kaushik, deputy chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, and Clr Graham Turner, Kirklees Council’s Cabinet member for regeneration.

People were invited to take part in a family-friendly walking trail to help celebrate the completion of the resurfacing and widening works.

The improvement works were part of a £2.7 million investment on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and also a stretch of towpath between Apperley Bridge and Shipley on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

Clr Kaushik (Lab, Crosland Moor and Netherton) said: “These improvements are an example of how we are working together to make walking and cycling people’s first choice.

“This important missing link will provide communities along the Colne Valley with a traffic-free, flat and scenic route which can be used all-year-round.”

The latest improvements on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal build on previous towpath upgrades between Huddersfield town centre and Milnsbridge.

The scheme has been delivered through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, which is aimed at enabling more people to walk and cycle, in partnership with Kirklees Council and the Canal & River Trust.

The towpath had to be closed for several months but Clr Turner (Lab, Golcar) said the end result was worth the disruption as it provided a “continuous active travel route from the town centre to Slaithwaite and beyond.”

He added: “The canal towpath was closed to improve long-term accessibility via the path and ensure public safety during the construction works.

“We are delighted that this part of the towpath will be open for members of the public to enjoy once again. We would like to thank the public for their co-operation in using alternative access provisions, while the work was undertaken.

“We would also like to express gratitude to the Canal & River Trust and CityConnect for their work on the project, and helping to provide safe alternative public and cycle access provisions onto and off the canal.”

Mayor Brabin said: “We’ve invested more than £9.5 million in upgrading canal towpaths across West Yorkshire.

“It’s been a pleasure joining the community in celebrating these latest improvements on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath.

“Making it easier to walk, cycle and use public transport will help tackle the climate emergency and make West Yorkshire an even better place to live and work.”

Sean McGinley, regional director at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Thanks to this and the previous towpath scheme, people can now travel easily between Huddersfield and Slaithwaite.

“It would be great to see funding secured to allow us to continue with towpath improvements along the canal towards Marsden and Standedge Tunnel.”