The Canal and River Trust is to hold a live Twitter Q&A following a recent survey of runners and cyclists who use canal towpaths. The organisation believes that questions about cycling speed measures led to people misinterpreting its attitude to cyclists and is keen to get across that it is seeking to weigh competing needs and views.
Those on foot have priority on canal towpaths, use of towpaths by cyclists has long been a source of complaints from some quarters, and some believe this has recently been exacerbated by timed Strava segments.
The Canal and River Trust last month sought the views of runners and cyclists and some felt that the survey was anti-cycling. One question was about whether speed bumps, rumble strips and chicanes should be installed to slow anti-social riders down.
Canal and River Trust ranger Dirk Vincent told road.cc: "Having read some of the comments on the article it’s clear that many people have got the wrong impression about this survey and the Trust’s attitude towards cycling in general too. The fact is, we love cycling and we’re doing all we can to make our towpaths better for everyone across 2000 miles, as our policy says.
"We do have obvious concerns about the behaviour of some visitors, however, especially when it comes to the speed that some people travel. As such, as I’m sure you can imagine, we’re regularly asked to put in speed measures, such as chicanes and speed bumps in many places. This is why we are asking questions about them in the survey."
“We’ve no big plan to install more speed measures at this stage, we just want to find out more about people’s attitudes towards them.
"As you can imagine, with such a large open network and limited space, limited resources or legal powers, our options for encouraging folk to use their common sense are few, so we’re always exploring ways – new and old – to do this.”
To address accusations of bias – and other concerns – the Trust will be holding a live Twitter Q&A on January 17 and it is keen for road.cc cyclists to take part. A (presumably edited) transcript will also be published at a later date, alongside the results of the survey.
The Canal and River Trust Twitter account can be found @canalrivertrust