State of the canal towpath II

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.

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About lancasterdynamo

Dynamo is a cycling group, established in 1994, to work with official bodies, other cycling organisations and interested individuals to promote cycling as a safe, enjoyable and healthy means of transport.
This entry was posted in canal, Carnforth, Cycle Infrastructure, lancaster, Sustrans. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to State of the canal towpath II

  1. Douglas Pike says:

    I sometimes use this path, mainly in good weather, and have some sympathy with the Trust’s response. It would be great if funds were available to maintain and clean/clear the towpaths but I suspect that what little funding is available goes on major projects like aqueduct and bank repairs, etc. We’re also lucky that this stretch from Lancaster to Carnforth is metalled, otherwise cycling would be an extremely muddy affair. Although it’s designated as an off-road cycle route on the OS maps I have no idea about legal responsibilities (if such exist) for maintenance to any specific standard. As it isn’t a public right of way, would the Trust be within its rights to just close the path if it deteriorated below a certain standard? I hope not. I can’t envisage them being able to afford to employ someone to clear the path on any regular basis over the winter months. The same could be said for the cycle/leisure path out to Caton (which I use almost daily) which is also littered with organic debris on a regular basis. My attitude to this problem has been to change bikes and use my mountain bike in the winter months. Although this may involve the expense of buying another bike for some people, it’s a bit like buying extra appropriate clothing for the various seasons which we tend to do automatically.

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