We received a response to our email from the Business Support Administrator at the Canal & River Trust in Wigan:
Thank you for your email of 5th February with regard to the towpath between Carnforth and Lancaster on the Lancaster Canal.
I forwarded your email to our Engineering team and our Enterprise team asking for feedback to your enquiry which I am now in receipt of. I am sorry to advise that currently we do not have any plans for these sections of towpath to be resurfaced. We are aware of the issues and we do have a number of notifications in our system for them. Sadly, we have many areas of towpath in a similar condition, in addition to many other required works, so we are not always able to complete works as quickly as we would like to.
We manage over 2000 miles of historic waterway and this means that we are not always able to fund works to towpaths in a poor state of repair. We work hard to acquire third party assistance to complete betterment schemes. Sources for such funds can be partnership schemes with local authorities or agencies such as Sustrans. Please be advised that this section of towpath was upgraded & funded by Sustrans circa the year 2000.
I have spoken with the local supervisor asking if there are any temporary measure we can put in place to alleviate any pothole issue. He has furnished me with the attached photo of the standard condition of the Sustrans route, this photo being taken at Hest Bank. The towpath from the point of view of a walker is that it is one of the best towpaths we have but we can appreciate as a cyclists your point of view, as the surface is uneven in places.
Our asset teams will continue to monitor the area and note any deterioration and required works accordingly and we will continue to seek any help from third parties or funding streams we become aware of. We understand your frustration with regards to this issue and we do accept that it is a difficult situation. However, we simply do not have the money available to take action each time we receive a requests of this nature.
I hope that the above information addresses your enquiry. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any further queries.
So Patricia has taken her up on her offer and emailed back to ask if at least the leaf muck could be swept up.