Sunday, 27 September 2009

Bradford on Avon Towpath

I was interested to read this article about the tow path at Bradford on Avon not least because I used to visit there a lot when I lived in Wiltshire. It is clear from the picture that the path is very narrow. So why are people trying to use electric scooters on the path? Why are people trying to walk such a narrow path with a small child in a push chair? Why are parents allowing their children to ride bicyles on that stretch? Why can people not see the difficulty and make a sensible decision not to walk that particular part of the path. Looking at the picture a sensible person would in all probability assess that walking this path is a single file activity. I fail to see why Mrs Boltons condition , pregnant, is of any relevance to this story.
However, local residents said,

“British Waterways need to sort the path out and stop boats mooring. The mooring is making it worse and eroding the bank. There is a sign, but it is very small.”

I think these people need to understand that if the licence paying boater were removed from the water the canals would be filled in and then no one would fall in the water.

I was ammused by BW's reaction to all this

Susie Mercer, a spokesman for British Waterways, said: “It isn’t possible to widen the towpath without impinging on the width of the navigation. “We cannot provide a wide level surface in all locations and it is important for people to make their own judgements about whether a surface or location is appropriate to their needs.”

What I find funny about that is when when someone gets injured using a lift bridge because of their own stupidity BW decide to spend £20,000 on each bridge on the Oxford making them idiot proof. Do I see a U turn here? Or could it be that no one in Bradford on Avon has sued them . . . . . yet!


Mrs Humdinger said...

I know this part of the towpath well - in fact most of the stretch from there down to Bradford on Avon is very narrow. The main problem is not the narrowness, but the cyclists who think it is a grand prix track and they have right of way over everyone else. You constantly have to look behind you to see what's coming, and on several occasions at that particular bridge I have had to hang on to the railing and swing round out over the canal to get out of the way of a cyclist who was going that fast that they couldn't stop when they got to the bridge!

Was the scooter driver trying to avoid a cyclist?

Maffi said...

Ah but the article only reported on the unsuitability of the towpath for scooters and pushchairs.

The cyclist problem is universal on the system and other places. I tend to hold my ground, for two reasons,

1, ting ting may be ok for some but it doesn't mean jack s... to a deaf person!

2, Those cycles are designed to go up hill and down dale so they can ride around me on the grass!

If option two is not an option then they shouldnt be on the path in the first place.

I am sure there is something in H&S law that says cyclists must dismount when passing pedestrians if the path is under a certain width.

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