Using the 2008 Urban Development Plan maps showing the protected route of the Swansea Canal, Tomas, Carl, Gordon and myself walked the route north from Clarion Close (the turning before the entrance to Booker’s Cash and Carry). Most of us are already familiar with the route of the canal after it leaves the Tawe river, under Valley Way into the Fendrod Lake and up the Fendrod to Clarion Close.

1.


Clarion Close bridge (Llansamlet) over the Fendrod looking south.

We parked the car by the bridge. The headroom and width are adequate to take a barge.

2.

On the Fendrod footpath looking north from Clarion Close.

The route is rural although it is so close to the Llansamlet Industrial estate. Soon we were skirting the Swansea Vale Nature Reserve.

3.

The B4625 bridge over the Fendrod River close to the Swansea Vale Nature Reserve looking north.

The river then goes under the B4625. Again the bridge is wide and high. To the north of the B4625 the Nature reserve is extremely pretty.

4.

The entrance to the Nature reserve on the B4625 (Llansamlet).

Liaison with all the conservation bodies will be very important.

5.

Brent Geese and goslings on the Nature reserve lake (north of the B4625).

We also saw a heron on the lake as well as these goslings.

6.

Menzies warehouse on Mill Stream way.

The ‘canal route’ has now turned west from the Fendrod river which is culverted under the M4. The line through the factory warehouses is still protected on the 2008 UDP maps.

7.

Electricity sub-station west of Mill Stream Way.

The canal will need to go over or under Mill Stream Way. It then turns north up to the River Tawe.

8.

Coming onto the Tawe river path opposite the Riverside Caravan Park.

From here the route will pass under the M4, the freight railway line and then cross Garth Road as the road makes a right angled turn and becomes Ynysallan Road.

9.

The A4067 bridging the traffic free section of Garth Road (Sustrans Route 43).

Again a very big bridge which would take the existing cycle path and a canal!

10.

The Vadre Rugby Ground, Clydach.

The line of the canal would follow the river Tawe along the Rugby club grounds.

11.

lThe Tawe path alongside the Vardre Rugby ground.

12.

The proposed Tawe crossing point for the Swansea Canal north of Clydach Aqueduct.

A very large engineering project indeed!

This vision of the Swansea canal once more reaching into Swansea must be pursued. There are many examples of the great economic advantages of the restoration of derelict canals. The Cotswolds Canal is being restored in Stroud and a hydro electricity turbine is already installed there. The Hereford and Gloucester will soon be restored just outside Hereford and will eventually terminate in the centre of town. Great work is being done on the Brec and Mon to push the route south into Newport and Pontypool and Cwmbran will become canal towns.

The Swansea Canal must not be left behind.