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Canal Tow Path

From Rosy G

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Two weeks ago my friend and myself had a lovely meal at the Secret Café, Tenterfields.

It was a nice day so we decided to take a walk on the canal bank as it was nice and flat (My friend is 80, and deaf in one ear.) This should have been a nice experience. Not so!

The number of bikes who came up behind us was incredible. Very few sounded a bell and the ones that did were very quiet. If I had not kept pushing her out of the way she would have been in the canal. Surely bike riders should have horns and there should be a speed limit at least.

The dog fouling was also very bad.

Has anyone else experienced the above problems?

From Adrian Riley

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Dare I suggest there is a conflict of interests on this narrow path and is likely to get worse when the surface has been improved. 

This was entirely foreseeable but I can't imagine many cyclists will dismount and push their cycles past anyone. 

Dog mess makes stepping out of the way a vigilant hopscotch reserved for nimble people. Consideration by using the traditional rule of "sail before steam" may be useful for circumstances related by Rosy G.

From Myra James

Friday, 8 March 2019

I cycle on the towpath and apply the rule “feet before wheels - especially when there are four” - because dogs are unpredictable and their human might need a few moments to ensure they are out of the way.

A little give and take is required on a shared path, on both sides.

So, a pedestrian wearing headphones can expect sometimes to be surprised if a cyclist passes them having failed to make their bell or voice heard, and groups of people might have to step aside to make a little space for a cyclist, runner or anyone wanting to make faster progress.

A cyclist in a hurry might consider whether the road is a better place for them, because there will be times when you need to slow down, or possibly even stop. 

From Graham Barker

Friday, 8 March 2019

I now try to avoid towpath walking at weekends and public holidays because the situation Rosy describes is sadly all too common. I’d say no more than half of cyclists passing from behind bother with an audible alert, so it’s not small numbers. My heart always sinks when I hear of yet another leisure route that mixes cyclists and walkers/pedestrians, because it means more hazard and less enjoyment for those on foot.

Cyclists seriously need to up their game, particularly as they’re so quick to moan about inconsiderate drivers. All they need to do is ring a bell or shout and if there is no response, slow right down. Bells are cheap, shouting even cheaper so I don’t understand why so many cyclists think it’s OK to be both dangerous and anti-social. I can only assume they share a mentality with dog owners who bag poo, then abandon it.

From Gavin Parry

Monday, 11 March 2019

We have lived on the canal towpath at Charlestown for more than 25 years. Improvements to the surface are long overdue to improve accessibility for pedestrians, especially families, since it is the only safe route for children to walk to school. We have concerns that widening the path and giving it a road-like surface will encourage cyclists to speed up rather than give way to pedestrians. We are also concerned that what was once a peaceful place to walk (or cycle with care) and a welcome sanctuary from the increasingly busy road will be lost for locals and visitors alike.

The design and layout of the improvements should take this into account, ensuring priority for pedestrians and deterring speeding cyclists. (I say this as someone who is more of a cyclist than a pedestrian).

A meeting has been arranged by the Combined Authority’s CityConnect  programme for this Wednesday, 13th March, at Stubbing Wharf pub 6.00-8.00pm. 

We are not sure how extensive or how well advertised the consultation processes have been for the Hebden Bridge to Todmorden stretch of the towpath? Apparently this was agreed in December 2016 and it is now only a question of ‘how these towpath improvements will be delivered’.

We wonder if only residents along the towpath have been informed of this meeting? This would be a shame as it affects many others. So, if anyone has an interest or concern about these changes, or that the consultation process hasn’t been adequate, please come to this meeting and share your views. We are hoping that it will be a forum for some constructive discussion around these issues