Allowed to walk the towpaths

Published: Wednesday, 01 April 2020

I THINK some of your recent contributors regarding towpaths may be suffering from isolation fever, writes Steve Walton.

Lets put this in context.  If you are inside your boat and people walk or cycle past it as they are perfectly allowed to do under government guidance, it represents little or no risk to you: just stay inside!  Do people get paranoid about those who have walked past their car before they jump in to it to go on their weekly shopping trip?  Of course not.

No exclusive right

As a moored boater you have no right to exclusive use of the towpath, though many seem to selfishly think they do (witness the tables and chairs often set up blocking the towpaths in the summer not to mention the dog mess and other junk dumped on it).

If you are concerned, however irrationally, then of course you can stay inside your boat or pull up your pins and move to a quieter spot.

Very misleading

Finally, Invoking memories of foot & mouth can also be very misleading.  Towpaths along with footpaths and bridleways were closed because foot and mouth was spread by animal droppings picked up on the boots of walkers and transferred elsewhere.  That is obviously not the way coronavirus is spread which is primarily by touching a contaminated surface and then not following public health advice regarding hand washing and general cleaning of surfaces before touching your own face.

S. Walton, Nb Betty.