Canal towpath petition

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tykeboy2003
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Location: Swadlincote, South Derbyshire

Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby tykeboy2003 » 25 Jul 2020, 9:55am

Pete Owens wrote:And 2m is not wide enough for a 2-way route shared with pedestrians.


The Trent and Mersey canal near me is part of NCN route 6 (Swarkestone near Derby) there is no tarmac and the gravel bit is barely 12" wide yet this is a 2-way cycle route with lots of pedestrians in summer). There is plenty of room there to widen the path to 2m which I think would be more than enough. Anything more than a couple of metres would invite misuse and spoil the tranquility of the canal.

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tykeboy2003
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Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby tykeboy2003 » 25 Jul 2020, 9:59am

Tangled Metal wrote:Make them into a good resource for all non-motorised transport plus e-bikes. Why limit to cyclists?

Come to think about it the canal near us has a towpath you can walk or cycle on already. It's often used to commute to Lancaster from the villages along its path by people who don't like cycling the excellent route that's the A6. Having said that I used to walk the Rufford branch of the Leeds Liverpool canal. It wasn't great for walking in some stretches when I was a kid. So I expect canal access is not at the same level across the network.

I wish you success but personally canals often follow gradients so are generally not a very direct route anywhere. IMHO cycling provision should be focused on functional as in utility use for people who might turn to the bike to make short journeys if there were good routes. I think canals are often more about leisure riding. Valuable in itself but just as road improvements are about people and goods getting somewhere monies intended for cycling infrastructure should centre on the equivalent type of cycle provisions. Commuter routes, between residential areas and schools/shopping, etc.


No problem with other non-motorised modes of transport.

Round here in the midlands, pretty well all the canals are cyclable - but only in summer - as the towpaths generally become bogs in winter. Keeping the paths open all year would be the main benefit of any funding to be fair.

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simonineaston
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Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby simonineaston » 25 Jul 2020, 10:00am

Just two examples of the complexity... I cycled along a section of the Kennet & Avon on Sunday last. An angling match was taking place - the several anglers (spherical, pasty-looking, tatooed items, in the main - no offence meant...) were employing something called carp poles, which under certain circumstances, extend backwards, right across the tow-path.
Then, the next day, we went the other way and encountered a heron, reluctant to move off his tow-path, complete with his nine-inch, very pointy, bill and a steely, Clint Eastwood-like, gaze...
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

Bonefishblues
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Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby Bonefishblues » 25 Jul 2020, 10:19am

On the basis that there are many more walkers, cyclists and other non-motorised perambulators than boatists, would not a better solution be to fill in the canals and create a network of wide, safe pathways across the country?

Yours, a laterally, but not entirely seriously thought out plan.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby Tangled Metal » 25 Jul 2020, 10:19am

Or perhaps there should be money spent on routes where cyclists want to go not where it dead beat to design a canal route? If the canal is the best option in an area then it's a good idea but it's often not.

Near me a NCN route uses the canal but most commuters don't. Occasionally I'll join the canal at just over halfway home. My route takes half an hour so from the potential canal joining point I use at times it takes less than 10 minutes by road. By canal it adds an extra 15 minutes to my journey. 1.5x as long as the fully road route takes. That's with riding some of the way at the same speed as on the road. I have to slow near bridges and people, plus narrow sections where you'll never be able to widen the path anyway.

Making a route for cyclists another way might be better. Twenty plus years ago I hired Dutch bikes in the Netherlands to cycle from a youth hostel info town. The cycle route was away from traffic and direct. The vehicle for made up the other three sides of a rectangle. It was quicker on that big, heavy, 3 speed Dutch bike.

Also, if you get the money then don't be surprised if they spend it elsewhere. The ring fenced money for a cycle route to Lancaster university from Lancaster centre alongside but separated from the A6 disappeared and the council refuses to say what they spent the money on. In fact the CFO says he doesn't know where the money went. I'm sure that's not the only case like that.

Sorry I'm a pessimist after holidays in Holland, France and Belgium. It's causing the mentality here. Rather than cycle provisions where they're needed you're proposing putting them where Victorian or earlier engineers put the motorways of their day.

Bonefishblues
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Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby Bonefishblues » 25 Jul 2020, 10:20am

simonineaston wrote:Just two examples of the complexity... I cycled along a section of the Kennet & Avon on Sunday last. An angling match was taking place - the several anglers (spherical, pasty-looking, tatooed items, in the main - no offence meant...) were employing something called carp poles, which under certain circumstances, extend backwards, right across the tow-path.
Then, the next day, we went the other way and encountered a heron, reluctant to move off his tow-path, complete with his nine-inch, very pointy, bill and a steely, Clint Eastwood-like, gaze...

Originally called, in this country at least, roach poles BTW.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby Tangled Metal » 25 Jul 2020, 10:20am

Aren't boaters the only ones paying for the upkeep of canals through licenses? What do boaters want? Shouldn't they be most important with their needs?

Bonefishblues
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Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby Bonefishblues » 25 Jul 2020, 10:29am

Tangled Metal wrote:Aren't boaters the only ones paying for the upkeep of canals through licenses? What do boaters want? Shouldn't they be most important with their needs?

No, apparently not:

https://www.thirdsector.co.uk/canal-riv ... le/1592545

reohn2
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Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby reohn2 » 25 Jul 2020, 10:30am

Pete Owens wrote:And 2m is not wide enough for a 2-way route shared with pedestrians.

No but a damned sight better than some of the rutted puddle infested towpaths I ride on the L&L.TBH I'd settle for 2m well laid and maintained gravel towpaths that all can use and cyclists use at a reasonable pace giving way to pedestrians when necessary.
We can all wish for the Moon on stick but we should remember it's not always possible in such a backward country as the UK! :?
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I cycle therefore I am.

Bonefishblues
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Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby Bonefishblues » 25 Jul 2020, 10:42am

reohn2 wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:And 2m is not wide enough for a 2-way route shared with pedestrians.

No but a damned sight better than some of the rutted puddle infested towpaths I ride on the L&L.TBH I'd settle for 2m well laid and maintained gravel towpaths that all can use and cyclists use at a reasonable pace giving way to pedestrians when necessary.
We can all wish for the Moon on stick but we should remember it's not always possible in such a backward country as the UK! :?

I thought at least one of your bikes laughed in the face of that sort of terrain? Wussy! :D

reohn2
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Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby reohn2 » 25 Jul 2020, 10:45am

Bonefishblues wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:And 2m is not wide enough for a 2-way route shared with pedestrians.

No but a damned sight better than some of the rutted puddle infested towpaths I ride on the L&L.TBH I'd settle for 2m well laid and maintained gravel towpaths that all can use and cyclists use at a reasonable pace giving way to pedestrians when necessary.
We can all wish for the Moon on stick but we should remember it's not always possible in such a backward country as the UK! :?

I thought at least one of your bikes laughed in the face of that sort of terrain? Wussy! :D

Two of them actually :roll: :wink:
And the third too with a certain amount of dexterity on my part :D
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I cycle therefore I am.

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simonineaston
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Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby simonineaston » 25 Jul 2020, 11:24am

Originally called, in this country at least, roach poles BTW.
Excellent tip - I thank-you :D One of my teenage chums was a life-long fishing fanatic - he'd have put me right on that too - dear old Keith - he's fishing in the big ol' carp (& roach) pond in the sky on account of being a heavy smoker all his life...
image6.jpg
my chum Keith Speer
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

millimole
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Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby millimole » 25 Jul 2020, 11:30am

There is also the technical, but not unimportant point that most towpaths are not public rights of way - they are permissive paths. The land is generally owned by The Canal & River Trust who can close the path at any time without warning, although they generally do post notices of planned closure.
In some places - as on my local towpath - ownership is complex, changing between local authority & CRT a couple of times within the space of around 100 metres.
There are some sections where the towpath is a Right of Way, locally we have a Public Footpath running over a set of canal lock gates. Where towpaths are part of the NCN this has been done with the agreement of the landowner.

IN many parts of the country the land /below/ the towpath is leased for fibre-optic cable lines adding a further layer of complexity.

The government (DEFRA) grant to CRT includes the mandate to make towpaths 'open to all', and this is generally felt to mean that no one group should have priority over another.
Don't underestimate the lobby power of narrow boat owners, the hire boat industry, and canal advocacy groups.

millimole
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Location: Leicester

Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby millimole » 25 Jul 2020, 11:59am

Here's my permit still attached to one of my bijes after all these years,, slowly fading away.
The permit was AFAIK available for a small fee, then it became available to buy on the British Waterways website, then it was free to download after filling in a form, then, finally you could just download it!
It did come with a summary of the by-laws.
I seem to remember being asked once if I had a permit, but not having to show it.
No longer required. Image
Leicester; Riding my Hetchins since 1971; Audaxing on my Dawes; Riding to work on a Decathlon Hoprider

mercalia
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Re: Canal towpath petition

Postby mercalia » 25 Jul 2020, 12:54pm

The canals should be filled in, would make great cycle and pedestrian paths then. With simple camp sites at various intervals. How many boats are there any way on them & the ones I see are just moored? They only move around due to regulations about limits on staying in one place? They were once for industrial purposes that long since ended? ( I'll now wait for the hate mail) The Grand Union would be a great way to get from London to the North, a new M1 for cycles?