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News article created on 24 October 2012

International Walk to School Month comes to the canal

Pupils from Hanover School in Islington are trying out a new walking route along the Regent’s Canal as part of Living Streets’ International Walk to School Month. The children will highlight the need to Share the Space and give pedestrians priority on the towpath.Towpath Rangers will be on hand to explain the guidelines to passers-by.

Walking to school can reduce a child’s risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and numerous other obesity related conditions. Living Streets research shows less than 50% of children in the UK walk to school despite the mounting evidence of the health risks of sedentary behaviour. 

The Regent’s Canal towpath, which runs unbroken from Islington to Limehouse, offers an ideal traffic-free green route through London. However, in Islington the towpath can get very busy, with up to 500 cyclists an hour at peak times, so it is important that users are considerate of one another. 

Our ‘Share the Space’ campaign encourages people to consider others when using London’s towpaths by sharing the space, dropping their pace, always being courteous to others and remembering that pedestrians have priority.

Sharing the space

This morning (Wenesday 24 October) pupils were accompanied by Towpath Rangers and a Canal & River Trust lollipop person, who talked to joggers, commuters and cyclists about sharing the space. 

Towpath Rangers are Canal & River Trust volunteers who are dedicated to improving the condition of London’s towpaths and making sure everyone is able to enjoy the haven for people and nature that the towpath provides. They are friendly faces who are happy to answer questions about the area, organise considerate towpath use awareness events and help keep the towpath clean and free from overgrowing greenery.

Kerena Fussell, Volunteer Towpath Ranger for Canal & River Trust, said:  “Walking along the Regent’s Canal is a great way to get to school. There are all sorts of wildlife to look out for and there aren’t any cars, only passing boats. The towpath can get busy with people getting to work by bike or on foot, and we want everybody to remember to share the spaces and remember that pedestrians have priority. The canals are for everyone and we want everybody to enjoy their journey safely.”

Volunteer Towpath Rangers receive hands-on training and support and act as the ambassadors of the Canal & River Trust in fifteen boroughs across London. Contact dick.vincent@canalrivertrust.org.uk for further information.