Canal paths – share the space campaign

You may have seen on the news the campaign by the Canal and River Trust asking for canal path users to be a bit more respectful of each other when they share the space.

Canal & River Trust is calling for the reintroduction of old-fashioned manners to preserve the peace.

During 2015, 385 million visits were made to the towpaths prompting the call for visitors to help protect the special atmosphere which has made these spaces so popular.


When out on the boat recently my husband spotted a scrambler bike on the towpath ahead, he shouted a warning over to a family taking a walk and they pulled the youngsters in close as the bike passed by. This is unusual, and illegal, but canal towpaths have never been busier and it seems there is a need for the return of some old fashioned etiquette.

If you’re on the towpath and you see special polite signs, feel free to follow their instructions and say Hi to passers by.


The Canal & River Trust remind us, In some areas the canal towpath might be the only piece of green space providing some peace and calm through the centre of a busy city. Keep it a calm and peaceful place.

“Whether cycling, running, walking, mooring your boat or fishing, please help by being considerate of others, slowing down and remembering we are all there to enjoy the space. If you’re in a rush, the towpath is not the best place for you so please choose a different route.”

Share the space, drop your pace.

Share the space – towpaths are popular places to be enjoyed by everyone. Please be mindful of others, keep dogs under control, and clean up after them.

Drop your pace – pedestrians have priority on our towpaths so be ready to slow down; if you’re in a hurry, consider using an alternative route for your journey.

Do you have a canal walk where you live?


  1. Anca
    April 25, 2016 / 10:25

    It’s puzzling people don’t have the courtesy to respect others on a country walk or on towpaths. Although I don’t think it’s appropriate in any environment, I can understand people being busy and in a hurry in a city centre, but not in the countryside.

  2. April 24, 2016 / 16:17

    Wow 385 million visits. My parents go walking along our towpaths nearly every week, but we have never walked along the paths. I know we really should as I know how beautiful the views can be. Great idea about bringing back the old fashioned etiquette and being polite and saying hello x

    • Nortonmum
      April 24, 2016 / 19:55

      The walk along acton bridge & over to the Riverside Pub for lunch is lovely x

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