THE first section of a £750,000 foot and cycleway towpath is opening to the public.

The fully-completed pathway along the Worcester and Birmingham Canal will involve resurfacing 4.5 miles in all, and link the Diglis Basin near the city centre with Sixways rugby ground, to the north-east.

It is due to be finished in spring when transport and tourist chiefs hope it will benefit visitors to the city.

The work is being carried out by British Waterways, Worcestershire County Council, Worcester City Council and sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

When finished, it will connect a sports centre and two schools to the path.

Coun Derek Prodger, county council transport chief, said: “This work will help create better cycling and walking routes for the schools nearby, which compliments our school travel plan work and helps reduce congestion meaning safer, healthier journeys for everyone.”