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The CRT, bless them, have put signs on towpaths asking reminding people using the towpath to share the space. Sharing usually means being considerate for others, but for many cyclists there appears to be a different interpretation and that is they have precedence over walkers. This of course is not the view of the CRT code. Wringing a bell, or shouting to move people out of the way has little consideration for others, on a narrow path.

 

I sat on a bench yesterday for half an hour, at Farmers Bridge Junction, by the Arena, 1715-1745 and counted the number of persons passing me

 

Pedestrians alone -   8

Pedestrians in groups-  3

Cyclists travelling fast-  12

Cyclists travelling slow- 6

Cyclists passing each other in front of me on the narrow curved path -2

 

There are three bridges here and I only mention that strip of towpath by me, not those cyclists that passed over these bridges, often at speed, and along both towpaths to and from Broad Street.

 

I suppose at this time of day this was popular for workers cycling home, yet for those that want to walk along these path, those who, in particular, choose to travel fast, is taking any pleasure from walking in an area that should be reserved for walkers, in view of the narrow towpath widths. 

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5 minutes ago, Heartland said:

 

I reckon to see about one serious cycling accident every year, serious means somebody getting hurt. I no longer report them to CaRT because from the responses I have received it is obvious that CaRT do not want to listen. Two of the accidents I have witnessed could easily have been fatal if luck had gone the other way.

 

I have thought about this quite a bit. I think the only answer is for a few boaters to get boat mounted video cameras and record the towpath goings-on and put them on u-tube, or hand them to the police in the most serious cases. I suspect CaRT might respond to a lot of bad publicity. I wonder if there is a speed measuring device that can overlay the speed onto a video recording?

 

I am also tempted to do a freedom of information request to try to find out if the story is true that CaRT have agreed to a request from Sustrans never to impose any speed limits.

 

...............Dave

 

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It would be useful to know if CRT and Sustrans has made some sort of arrangement. It must be a concern that cyclists are almost immune from any action and the removal/ opening of barriers on some waterways encourages speeding.

 

On the Railways there was the Q train that travelled problem areas with police officers on board. What is needed on canals is a Q boat.

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Unfortunately, we have a lot of laws and rules in all areas of life, but we dont have the capacity to enforce them. The consequence is that it all becomes a bit of an "honesty box" system, where most people will recognise the value and reasons for such laws and rules, but there will be others who will travel through life on the basis that the law and rules dont apply to them - most wont have to pay the consequences of such ignorance, so they continue to do so and, others join them.

 

I used to move our boat from our club moorings, (opposite the towpath and behind locked gates and fences), over to the towpath near the clubhouse for a day or two each week. It felt more sociable and alive and altogether a pleasant place to be.

 

However, cyclists have increased in numbers, and many seem to think they are in the Tour de France, such that being on the towpath is to take your life in your hands, and that of your dogs and family. I think the rules say that cyclists should give way to pedestrians, and I thought I had heard of a speed limit of 4mph, (rather than 30mph or more, which seems common).

 

Nowadays, I spend my boat time on the moorings, and only venture across to the towpath when chores require it, (filling with water, emptying the cassettes, getting heavier/bulkier stuff on and off the boat). Life is not quite as pleasant, but at least we are all alive and uninjured.

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I am not keen to organise canal walks in certain areas now, and in fact this years BCN "walk" is a visit instead. Last year walking along the old BCN main line at Spon Lane should have been cyclist free as the towpath was closed beyond through motorway refurbishment yet it did not stop the cyclists who thought they knew better. On the RCHS Wrexham Weekend in May there were fewer cyclists on the Ellesmere where we were and anyway a group of 60 plus was a barrier to the most ardent speed merchant.

 

Speed by cyclists is definitely the concern walkers and boaters have. As a collective the concern of being hurt or being forced into to the water is the primary worry. There are long stretches of towpath where cyclists can move safely as along as they treat others with courtesy, and most do, little of the current problems would exist. Yet there seems to be a belief of must ride at all times whether it is on a footpath, pedestrian only area or a towpath.    

Edited by Heartland

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As I was walking along the Huddersfield tow path swinging my handspike absent mindedly in my hand i was so pleased to see how polite the cyclists were and just how cautiously they passed me by. I put it down to good old fashioned Yorkshire manners at the time. 

20180629_110320.jpg

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2 hours ago, Peter-Bullfinch said:

As I was walking along the Huddersfield tow path swinging my handspike absent mindedly in my hand i was so pleased to see how polite the cyclists were and just how cautiously they passed me by. I put it down to good old fashioned Yorkshire manners at the time. 

20180629_110320.jpg

I'm not surprised they were polite Peter. 

 

On the Calder & Hebble they are quite used to handapikes, but not on the Huddersfield! 

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3 hours ago, Peter-Bullfinch said:

As I was walking along the Huddersfield tow path swinging my handspike absent mindedly in my hand i was so pleased to see how polite the cyclists were and just how cautiously they passed me by. I put it down to good old fashioned Yorkshire manners at the time. 

20180629_110320.jpg

Must admit I've taken to swinging my windlass when walking between locks, innocently but visibly letting bikes/people know. In the main bikers appear to have more respect for hard metal, than for flesh and bone. Believe it or not, I've got just as much right to use the space on the towpath as bikers. 

 

Around Birmingham I think a lot of bikers are couriers, taking shortcuts through towpaths - saving time is money for them.

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On 28/06/2018 at 10:55, dmr said:

I am also tempted to do a freedom of information request to try to find out if the story is true that CaRT have agreed to a request from Sustrans never to impose any speed limits.

Very few push bikes sport speedometers, so it would be hard for most cyclists to know when they were breaking such a limit.

 

That said I have seen signs erected by Sustrans on a shared tow-path that suggest a maximum speed, so I rather doubt that Sustrans have a strong policy that there should never be a limit.

The problem of course being that it is in my opinion perfectly OK for cyclists to travel quite fast on long open stretches of tow-path where there is a good view, and they can see well ahead.  In my view they only need to slow down to much slower speeds, and be prepared to give way, where that is not the case, and there are other people about.  It is not sensible to set a limit suitable for the latter, if common-sense can't be used to allow you to go much faster where a slow limit is not appropriate.

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17 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

Very few push bikes sport speedometers, so it would be hard for most cyclists to know when they were breaking such a limit.

 

That said I have seen signs erected by Sustrans on a shared tow-path that suggest a maximum speed, so I rather doubt that Sustrans have a strong policy that there should never be a limit.

The problem of course being that it is in my opinion perfectly OK for cyclists to travel quite fast on long open stretches of tow-path where there is a good view, and they can see well ahead.  In my view they only need to slow down to much slower speeds, and be prepared to give way, where that is not the case, and there are other people about.  It is not sensible to set a limit suitable for the latter, if common-sense can't be used to allow you to go much faster where a slow limit is not appropriate.

When I said speed limits I really should have said "restrictions" or "rules" as I suspect that things like dismounting at Bridge 'oles could also be included. CaRT have erected a few "pedestrian priority" signs but these are most likely counter productive as some cyclists take this to mean "cyclist priority" everywhere else. This does suggest that CaRT do at least have some powers to set cycling rules even if they would not stand up in court.

I would also suggest that many of the worse offending cyclists are the types that DO have speedometers, complete with full journey loggers and head mounted video cameras etc.

 

............Dave

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1 hour ago, dmr said:

CaRT have erected a few "pedestrian priority" signs but these are most likely counter productive as some cyclists take this to mean "cyclist priority" everywhere else

That's a very good point. Under the legal maxim that the exception proves the rule, that's exactly what it does mean.

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7 hours ago, alan_fincher said:

That said I have seen signs erected by Sustrans on a shared tow-path that suggest a maximum speed, so I rather doubt that Sustrans have a strong policy that there should never be a limit.

Indeed, they don't. I have been in meetings where that very issue was discussed between BW (as was) and Sustrans.

 

I realise that for some on here cyclists=Sustrans=bad, but it's a whole bunch more nuanced than that. Sustrans is as concerned as anyone about excessive speed on shared-use paths. They have exactly the same issue on the Bristol & Bath Railway Path, which is owned and managed by Sustrans, and which has higher levels of use than probably any towpath apart from the busiest bits of the Regent's.

Edited by Richard Fairhurst

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I'm 6+ft, 18+stone and bearded.

I just stand in the middle of the towpath.

 

Some cyclists get a tad vexed when they can't speed around me!

Edited by Victor Vectis

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I stop and get off my bike when I encounter multiple people on the towpath, or when I'm approaching someone who seems unaware of my presence.

 

Its becoming embarrassing how many people actually nod and smile and say 'thank you' for what seems to me plain and basic courtesy.

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I used to cycle the towpaths around Reading and cycle 2 days out of 3 up and down the valleys here in Oz.  It’s not just on the towpath that some cyclist lack consideration for others.  Not infrequently I will come across a posse of road bikes riding side by side blocking traffic for miles on end (roads are bendy with no safe passing).  Even had a couple a few weeks ago that were almost on the centre line.  Ok they are road bikes doing around 30mph and I'm on my MTB doing about ½ that but it's just basic lack of consideration and bad manners.  I never go out around school runs and will move over (and sometimes stop) on the rough to let cars past.  Granted I'm on a MTB which can easily go on the rough verges whereas road bikes can't but they are a strange breed who once they don their lycra seem to also don that I don't care attitude.

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I'm very concerned about people riding MTB, he's a Boilerman for gawds sake leave him alone! 

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18 hours ago, Jennifer McM said:

Must admit I've taken to swinging my windlass when walking between locks, innocently but visibly letting bikes/people know. In the main bikers appear to have more respect for hard metal, than for flesh and bone. Believe it or not, I've got just as much right to use the space on the towpath as bikers. 

 

Around Birmingham I think a lot of bikers are couriers, taking shortcuts through towpaths - saving time is money for them.

I think you have more rights you have a boat & have contributed to the upkeep of cut & surroundings  Do Sustrans contribute I guess individual cyclists don't Part of the problem is lack of consideration & the present day Me Me Me attitude which seems to prevail  most of society at large

Edited by X Alan W
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20 minutes ago, X Alan W said:

I think you have more rights you have a boat & have contributed to the upkeep of cut & surroundings  Do Sustrans contribute I guess individual cyclists don't Part of the problem is lack of consideration & the present day Me Me Me attitude which seems to prevail  most of society at large

You only have rights if other people voluntarily acknowledge them, and behave accordingly, or they are enforceable, and actually enforced.

 

It only takes a small minority to fail in the first element, and a total lack of the third element, and lack of consideration, and "Me, Me, Me", wins.

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19 hours ago, alan_fincher said:

Very few push bikes sport speedometers, so it would be hard for most cyclists to know when they were breaking such a limit.

 

That said I have seen signs erected by Sustrans on a shared tow-path that suggest a maximum speed, so I rather doubt that Sustrans have a strong policy that there should never be a limit.

The problem of course being that it is in my opinion perfectly OK for cyclists to travel quite fast on long open stretches of tow-path where there is a good view, and they can see well ahead.  In my view they only need to slow down to much slower speeds, and be prepared to give way, where that is not the case, and there are other people about.  It is not sensible to set a limit suitable for the latter, if common-sense can't be used to allow you to go much faster where a slow limit is not appropriate.

They might not sport speedometers but most of the riders have their mobile phones in a carrier on their handlebars, with a suitable app (Strava etc) which gives them speed and distance data.

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12 hours ago, Victor Vectis said:

I'm 6+ft, 18+stone and bearded.

I just stand in the middle of the towpath.

im not sure what point you’re trying to make here, are you saying you’re overly aggressive towards people who have just as much right to be there as you, or perhaps you’re looking for a date or playing Top Trumps?

 

if it helps, i’m 6’ 2”, 16+stone bearded and long haired, and i ride a bike on the towpath.

do i win?

 

if it wasnt for your description i might think this chap was you

 

 

 

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That clip illustrates perfectly how cyclists make a pain in the arse of themselves to pedestrians on the towpath, even slow moving cyclists.

 

Although Mr Angry is wrong about there being a rule saying dismount when there are pedestrians, I think there ought to be. Cycling on the pavement when it is a road is illegal because cyclists cannot moderate their speed, but unfortunately the lesson that this is also true on towpaths is probably going to take a generation for CRT to realise.

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1 hour ago, Sbg said:

They might not sport speedometers but most of the riders have their mobile phones in a carrier on their handlebars, with a suitable app (Strava etc) which gives them speed and distance data.

Most?

 

I very much doubt it.

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