Dynamo has written to the Canal and River Trust about the state of the canal towpath:
Dear Mr Gibbons
I write on behalf of Dynamo (Lancaster & District Cycle Campaign) to express our concern about the state of the surfaced towpath between Lancaster and Carnforth.
Firstly, leaves from overhanging trees were not cleared or swept in winter, and the result is that in places the towpath is a slushy mess as the leaves turn to humus. For cyclists it is not just unpleasant but also slippery and potentially dangerous. Pedestrians, too, find it dirty and hazardous underfoot. A little bit of forethought and maintenance in November or December – i.e. sweeping the leaves while they were still whole and dryish – would have prevented this problem. Now it will require serious work to clean the path, which we hope will be done very soon.
Secondly, the surface between Carnforth and Hest Bank has broken up badly and is in a potentially dangerous condition. It has been like this for some years now, despite complaints, and there is still no sign of improvement. Could you please give this your urgent attention?
Given that the towpath is both a well-used utility route between Lancaster and Lancaster University and also a long-distance Sustrans route, surely the Canal & River Trust has a duty to maintain it in a better state? Is there no external funding available? Cycling and walking are promoted on your website, but at the moment Dynamo wouldn’t recommend either.
I do apologise for the negative tone of this email, but it is frustrating to see such a potentially useful transport resource being neglected in this way.
We look forward to hearing from you.