The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury
The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury

Share the Space, Drop the Pace

After abandoning “The Two Ting’s” Campaign, and removing the Tow-path Cycling Permit, British Waterways, (Canal and Rivers Trust) in partnership with TfL, have had a cunning idea to make cycling and walking on the London Cycle paths to coexist in a more peaceful manor.

Given that the canal towpaths round most of the route they are talking about do not meet the minimum standards for a Sustrans Shared Use cycle path:

Sustrans recommendations specify that the minimum width for shared use of a path should be 2m

This talk about cyclists and walkers co-exist academic, however BW have introduced the following ?guidelines?

  1. Share the space consider other people and the local environment whenever you’re on a Greenway. Remember some people may move less predictably, for example young children or those with visual or mobility impairments.
  2. Drop your pace considerate sharing of the limited towpath space is the key. Jogging and cycling are welcome, but drop your pace in good time and let people know you are approaching by ringing a bell or politely calling out before waiting to pass slowly.
  3. Pedestrians have priority towpaths are ‘Greenways’ or shared use routes where pedestrians have priority and vehicles are generally excluded.
  4. Be courteous to others a smile can go a long way. Abusive or threatening behaviour is not acceptable and should be reported to the Police.
  5. Follow signs they are there for the safety of everyone. Cyclists should dismount where required and use common sense in busy or restricted areas, recognising that pedestrians have priority.
  6. Give way to oncoming people beneath bridges whether they are on foot or bike and be extra careful at bends and entrances where visibility is limited.
  7. When travelling in large groups especially if you are running or cycling, please use common sense and give way to others.
  8. Try to avoid wearing headphones as this makes you less aware of your surroundings possible hazards and others sharing the same space.
  9. Keep dogs on a short lead and clean-up after them. Dog fouling is very unpleasant and is a health hazard.
  10. At all times, keep children close to you and encourage them to learn and follow the Greenway Code for Towpaths.

The Original British Waterways Cycle Permit, stated the following rules for cycling:

  1. Give way to others at all times.
  2. Warn others of your approach.
  3. Watch out for hazards.
  4. Get off and walk if the path becomes difficult.
  5. Ride in single file and don’t bunch.
  6. Don’t risk a skid!
  7. Only cycle in daylight.
  8. Never race!
  9. Permission may be withdrawn if you ignore this code, and you could be liable to prosecution

So there is nothing new in the new guidelines, and they seem to have no mention of number 2, which was also in London backed up with the Two Ting’s campain

Use a bell, giving Two Tings when approaching pedestrians to let them know you are there. (Please note that ringing with Two Tings is not an order to pedestrians to get out of the way.)
Be aware that some people may have visual or hearing impairments and might not hear your Two Tings.

the full Two Ting’s Towpath Code of Conduct is an interesting read.

The Problem with Cycling on towpaths is not people who will read and observe these rules, even without needing to know there is a document available; its the people who wont give a carp about these and will still cycle in an inconsiderate and dangerous manner.

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