Friday, 5 March 2010

Cyclists agree that using the towpath is not always appropriate

I was pleased and relieved to see that many London cyclists have apparently recognised that canal towpath's may not always be the a suitable place for cycling.

The huge irony is of course is that it was BW London who first encouraged and took public funding from TfL to increase cycling on inner London Canals' towpaths. True to form there was a notable absence of planning and public consultation and this in turn led to huge numbers of complaints from both pedestrians and cyclist alike, as it soon became obvious that the intimate nature of the canal towpath did not always make it a safe environment for cycling. BW also completely failed to take account that the towpath is in fact a long established multi user space, frequently used as a local thoroughfare by local communities. That encouraging more commuter cyclist to use the towpaths would lead to some conflicts did not deter BW from taking the money and doing it anyway. They have spent subsequent years and more public money trying to mitigate the unforeseen (by BW at least!) consequences!

The recent report looking into the issue seems to me to re-confirm that the initial plans BW implemented were not planned or thought out sufficiently and even no more remedial action is needed. As ever when BW finally got round to doing some more effective consultation with its users a better plan is emerging.

However again BW have taken and spent public money unwisely inefficiently and are now holding their hands out for a second helping, having made a mess of the first attempt and created a problem that did not originally exist.

(Thanks to Narrowboatworld for highlighting that the report was now complete - as one who complained about this whole thing to BW in the past I have been told nothing whatsoever by them about how things were being taken forward - No surprises there then!)

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