Our towpaths are busier than ever and we’re asking all of our visitors to help us keep the canals special. We all need to respect one another. We all need to Share the Space.
Our towpaths are special places full of nature, wildlife and history and we want them to remain peaceful and relaxing, an antidote to our busy and stressful lives. With so many people enjoying them with lots of different interests, it’s really important that everyone is considerate to one another.
200 years ago, towpaths were used by horses pulling narrowboats laden with goods. Today we have walkers, cyclists, boaters, runners and anglers all sharing the same narrow waterside path. It’s no surprise that some stretches get busy.
It would be great if everyone could have their own special ‘lane’ on the towpath; a lane for cyclists, a lane for walkers, a lane for families and so on. Well, that’s not something we can do right now, but following our Better Towpaths for Everyone policy, which advises that priority should be given to the slowest users of the towpath, what we have done is create our very own duck lanes. Thanks to these, ducks and other waterway creatures can feel safe and secure on at least part of the towpath.
Two resident mallards on the Regent’s Canal commented:
“We love the new duck lanes. It means we can enjoy our morning walk without worrying about any humans invading our personal space and getting into a flap.”
Of course these duck lanes are a light-hearded way to illustrate the narrow space available and to remind people that we all need to Share the Space. We're not actually expecting ducks to use them!
As for the rest of us, we’re hoping that by slowing down, using good manners and sharing the space available, that we can all get along just fine. We’re all there for the same reason after all, to enjoy the special atmosphere of our canals and rivers.
Last date edited: 21 September 2016