The Canal & River Trust have just issued results of their recent consulation, here:
Section 220.127.116.11 talks about cyclists, the two quoted suggestions are:
Permits, "should be displayed clearly so other users are able to identify and report bad behaviour"
Speed Limit, "If there is a speed limit for boaters there should/could be a speed limit for cyclists"
Got to be careful not to shoot the messenger here, these are the views of the public that responded to the consulation, permits =1 in 10 respondees, speed limits = 1 in 20. However, some constructive discussion here passed onto the trust may be worthwhile.
My immediate reaction:
I commute along the canal everyday and rarely see any incidents.
I do witness some antisocial behaviour, like severe drunkeness, occassional fighting, and (rarely) people shooting heroin.
I'm absolutely against wearing a 'permit', so people can report me, when other canal users (eg junkies) can remain anonymous.
Speed is restricted by the large body of cold water immediately to my left/right, and therefore I'm also against a limit. Enforcement?? Speed cameras? Police with radar? At least 50% of the traffic in my area (West London) is driving routinely over the speed limit, and enforcement on the roads is minimal. This is why I use the canal in the first place.
p29, "they’re not commuter routes"...
p42, "Towpaths not for commuter cycling"
well, they can be commuter routes, I've been using one as such for the last 5 years? If not, why not? Force people onto busy roads? Back into their cars?
Interested in other's opinions. Cheers.