PaulaT wrote:There are something like 262,000 miles of road in the UK. A few 1000 miles of that are motorways and heavily-trafficked dual carriageway but we have over 100x more road to cycle on than there is canal (2,200 miles). Many residential boaters use bikes to get to shops etc and I'm sure they appreciate upgraded surfaces as much as we do and the tow paths around Birmingham and the Black Country are popular with cyclists. But there needs to be a balanced approach and the OPs petition is nothing but a selfish land-grab.
I don't see what you mean by a 'land grab' though I don't agree with totally tarmacing the whole network.
TBH IMO tarmac on towpaths creates it's own problems if not laid properly escecially where there are mature trees and hedges with roots under the surface.
Where towpaths see heavy used year round a good level and solid surface is a necessity for all users IMO,other areas needn't be as perfect but still need to be level and well maintained including the trees and hedges alongside,to provide good leisure facilities that people want to use.
The country is currently facing yet another recession where many people will be out of work,at such times as these we either invest in our infrastructure,which includes our leisure factilities such as canal towpaths,or we make the same mistake again by yet another unproductive austerity plan.