Our response to coronavirus

Supporting the national effort to keep people safe Supporting the national effort to keep people safe

In these unprecedented times, our priority is to support the national effort to keep people safe, following the Government’s advice and taking the appropriate action to protect our colleagues and partners, and everyone who visits, or lives on and around, our canals and river navigations.

Update: Friday 3rd April

With good weather forecast this weekend we're reminding people that whilst our towpaths remain open, use of them should be limited in line with Government advice, and strictly local only

Download and print our poster here and help spread the message.

Public health officials have stressed the importance of people staying at home. As Prof Jonathan Van Tam, the deputy chief medical officer for England, commented: “Whatever the weather, we all have a shared responsibility to protect those around us, and the single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.”

For our canal towpaths, this means that we are asking people to limit their use, avoid stretches where multiple boats are moored where possible as people aboard may be self-isolating, and always apply social distancing measures. 

As towpaths in some places can be narrow, when you pass someone, please make sure you use the full width of the towpath, keep moving, stand aside to allow others to pass, in single file, when necessary. If you can’t avoid passing a moored boat please keep as far away from it as possible and pass quickly by.

Our plea to everyone thinking of using the towpath is to be mindful of others and act always with consideration and with respect.

If we all continue to observe government guidance, follow advice to limit towpath use, and strictly observe social distancing, together we can combat this pandemic – and be able to enjoy getting back out on or by our waterways when we’ve beaten it.

Last date edited: 5 April 2020