Union Canal: Diversion in place as towpath closure extended

A longer stretch of the canal towpath is now closed

By Fiona Dobie
Thursday, 20th August 2020, 9:58 am
The proposed diversion route from  Station Road, Brightons to Kettilstoun, Linlithgow while the Union Canal towpath is closed.
The proposed diversion route from Station Road, Brightons to Kettilstoun, Linlithgow while the Union Canal towpath is closed.

Pedestrians and cyclists are advised the towpath closure on the Union Canal following last week’s breach has been extended and a diversion is now in place between Brightons and Linlithgow.

The extension to the stretch of path closed to members of the public comes after a minor embankment slip happened to the west of the breach site on Tuesday.

Scottish Canals said more then 60mm of topsoil had been displaced from the hill in the Brightons area.

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The breach happened in the early hours of last Wednesday morning. (Pic: Scottish Canals)

The path, which is popular with walkers, runners and cyclists, was previously closed between the A801 bridge and the Vellore Road bridge after a 30 metre section of the towpath and embankment were washed away during the torrential rain on Wednesday, August 12.

However a larger section of the towpath is now closed and a diversion has been introduced.

The diversion is from Brightons, near Polmont, to Linlithgow for the foreseeable future, extending the distance from 4.4 miles and an estimated one hour 26 minutes walking, to 4.7 miles and an estimated one hour 33 minutes.

The proposed diversion route sees people coming off the towpath at Station Road in Brightons, continuing along the A803 and rejoining the canal towpath at Kettlistoun in Linlithgow.

The canal breach last week saw thousands of gallons of water escape through the gap, cascading down the hill onto the main Edinburgh to Glasgow railway line causing significant damage.

Initial assessments by engineers suggest it could take two months to repair the damage and reopen the railway line.

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Images show extent of damage on Edinburgh to Glasgow railway line

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