Something must be done about speeding cyclists

Published: Friday, 23 August 2019

PERHAPS as a boater I am prejudiced, but something must be done about the speeding cyclists on towpaths, writes Helen Cripps.

I believe that we all agree that towpaths are just not wide enough to accommodate both walkers and cyclists on the many of our towpaths that are being upgraded to cycle tracks, that are encouraging so many speeders. Reading that a staggering 3.5 million cycles are sold every year means that the situation can only get worse.

Whizzing past

The editor of narrowboatworld and I were chatting by our boats on Sawley Cut on Tuesday and it being early morning the cyclists were whizzing past, obviously on their way to work or those is Lycra perhaps out for exercise. It was obvious why no other boaters moored were outside their boats, and we too soon retreated to the safety of the editor's cruiser stern.

The problem, as all but Canal & River Trust realise, is that the upgraded towpaths are just not wide enough to safely accommodate both these cyclist and walkers, especially those with children and/or dogs. (Tom told me that his own dog will no longer leave the boat on his own after so many near misses on that particular towpath.)

An official width?

We both agreed that making these cycle tracks wide enough to be able to segregate cyclists from walkers, with a definite line on the surface could be an answer, for they certainly are not wide enough as they are.  That means an official width is required.  Or perhaps there is one but it is being ignored.