Waterways and wellbeing charity, Canal & River Trust, working in partnership with the City of Wolverhampton Council, has installed solar powered lights along the canals in Wolverhampton to improve walking and cycling routes along the city’s towpaths.

The lights have been installed along 6 miles of canal with 1 every 10 metres, along the Main Line Canal from Coseley to the bottom of the Wolverhampton Lock Flight and along Wyrley and Essington Canal from Wolverhampton Train Station to the Bentley Retail Park. 

The project is being part funded by Priority 4 of the European Regional Development Fund which supports the shift towards low carbon economies.

Powered by sunlight the lights will illuminate at dusk and will remain on until sunrise. Each of the 1,000 lights has been fitted with special ‘bat hats’ to ensure these nocturnal mammals are not distracted by the light being emitted from the towpath as they hunt for food and navigate along the canal.

James Dennison, enterprise manager at Canal & River Trust, said “These eco-friendly lights have been installed on Wolverhampton’s busiest canal towpaths and are going to bring major improvements for everyone who uses the waterway routes. 

“Our canals are great places to visit throughout the year, and now local people don’t have to limit their use of these important routes to just daylight hours.  The lights will mean our towpaths can be used as green walking and cycling routes year round, allowing the local community to experience the health benefits of being next to water.”

Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for city environment and climate change, said: “We’re really pleased to have worked on this project in partnership with the Canal & River Trust to make such a difference to our fantastic canals and towpaths. We’re very lucky to have a wonderful canal network in our city and it’s important we do all we can to help residents and visitors enjoy it. 

“The new solar lights will make sure our canals and towpaths remain a safe and attractive option all year round. They are a valuable addition to our network of cycling and walking routes across the city, which we are continuing to extend and improve. 

“The installation of these lights is part of our city’s Smart Infrastructure Project. This project includes Smart Lighting, which is currently converting Wolverhampton’s streetlights from older higher energy sodium lamps into low energy LEDs.

“Projects like these will help us to lower our carbon emissions, reduce our energy consumption and enable people to choose alternative methods of transport, supporting our commitment to make City of Wolverhampton Council carbon neutral by 2028.”

For more information about the work of Canal & River Trust including how you can volunteer or donate money to support our work visit Canal and River Trust