Shaping the future of Canal and River Towpaths

Shaping the future of Canal and River Towpaths

The Canal & River Trust is consulting on how towpaths are shared to make visiting waterways more enjoyable for everyone. The aim is to improve people’s experience of using towpaths in England and Wales by gaining a more detailed understanding of the ways towpaths are used – whether by boaters, walkers, joggers, cyclists or anglers – and to attract more visitors to regularly use and enjoy the waterways.

Shaping the future of Canal and River Towpaths

Shaping the future of Canal and River Towpaths

The Trust is inviting people to share their views through an online survey, on anything from signage and behaviour to suggestions for access and surface improvements.

Julie Sharman, head of enterprise at the Canal & River Trust, says: “We want to make towpaths a more pleasant and friendly place for all and we believe that having a clear code of conduct will help us achieve this.

”These days people live much faster-paced and often stressful lives and it’s really important to find the time to slow down. Towpaths are best enjoyed slowly and many more people could benefit from the calm the water brings, whether it’s a short lunchtime stroll, jogging, a cycle ride, angling or boating. With 50% of the population of England and Wales living within 5 miles of a Trust waterway, we really want more people to take advantage of this.”

Our new policy and code of conduct for use of our towpath’s will set out the Trust’s approach to safer sharing of towpaths including what the Trust will do and what visitors can do. For example, it will balance the needs of people with the need to conserve and protect heritage and the environment; also how to encourage visitors to better understand the range of towpath activities, be considerate of others and make a difference to these shared spaces.

The consultation is open online and closes on Friday 2nd May. To fill in the consultation click here.

About The Canal & River Trust 

The Canal & River Trust is the guardian of 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales. We are among the largest charities in the UK, maintaining the nation’s third largest collection of Listed structures, as well as museums, archives, navigations and hundreds of important wildlife sites. We believe that our canals and rivers are a national treasure and a local haven for people and wildlife. It is our job to care for this wonderful legacy – holding it in trust for the nation in perpetuity and giving people a greater role in the running of their local waterways

The Canal & River Trust carries out a year round programme of works to maintain and repair the 2,000 miles of canals and rivers in its care so they can be enjoyed by the 33,000 boats and 10 million towpath visitors each year.



One response to “Shaping the future of Canal and River Towpaths”

  1. gabi says:

    Many people don’t appreciate why boaters need more space when manoeuvring through locks or anglers who may sit for hours with a lot of kit nearby. Whatever you do don’t obstruct the towpath, think of others and be courteous. There’s space for everyone. Cyclists should also be welcomed and local authorities need to do much more to create safer roads for those in a hurry.

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