Page last updated at 10:01 GMT, Saturday, 20 December 2008

Burst canal's towpath open again

Clean up after part of the canal collapsed
The scene after the Brecon and Monmouthshire canal burst

The towpath of a canal which suffered a catastrophic breach, flooding properties and closing a road for week, has been re-opened to the public.

It means walkers, cyclists and anglers can use the full 35 mile stretch of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.

Eight people were rescued and the A4077 between Crickhowell and Gilwern was closed for a week after the 200-year-old canal breached on 16 October 2007.

British Waterways said the canal would be open to boat traffic by the spring.

A 16-mile stretch of the canal has been out of use since the canal burst its banks.

British Waterways emptied the section between Llanover and Talybont to carry out the repair work, which officials said would cost 7.5m.

However two large sections either side of the affected area, in Powys and Monmouthshire, have remained open for visitors to enjoy.

Mark Durham from British Waterways said the repair work was on schedule.

"Much of the canal has now been re-watered, with just the breach site at Gilwern to refill in the new year," he said.

"In the meantime, with the coldest start to winter in 30 years and the festive season approaching, we would ask everyone to take extra care when they are out and about along our waterways."

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