Canal Bridge 46, Sebastopol
The bridge you see over the canal here today was installed in 2021 at the site of the original Bridge 46, which is visible in the old photo. The road which crosses the canal here has been known as Bevan’s Lane since the 19th century.
The old bridge collapsed and was replaced by an accommodation bridge, but that was demolished when construction work began on the houses west of the canal. The new bridge installed by the developers affected the depth of the canal, stopping boats passing under the bridge to reach the lower part of the canal. Without passing boats to keep vegetation in check, weeds in the canal grew rapidly, negatively affecting wildlife.
Concerned local residents formed the Bridge 46 to Five Locks Canal Group in September 2020 to raise awareness of a section of the canal that was no longer navigable.
The group’s campaigning led to this new Bridge 46 being installed, with its higher deck, and in October 2021 the canal returned to full navigation from Brecon to Five Locks. Since then, the group’s volunteers have continued to improve the canal and towpath and are working with Torfaen council and others on plans to reopen the canal to boats below Five Locks.