London's ancient, varied and lengthy towpaths are to play an important role in delivering the Mayor’s vision for cycling, it was announced yesterday.
Cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan confirmed that the paths running alongside sections of London's 100 miles of city waterways will need to be improved to make the scheme work. The Canal & River Trust charity will work with Transport for London (TfL), local councils and community groups to improve towpaths, develop cycling routes and ensure London's waterways deliver the all-important transport links in the city.
However, as towpaths are already pretty busy (stats show more people are using the towpaths than ever before), cyclists will need to share the space with boaters, walkers, anglers and more.
Brian Fender, chairman of the Canal & River Trust acknowledges the challenges of the Shared Use Scheme saying, "London's waterways are open for everyone and support a wide range of journeys around the city, so we welcome the Mayor's vision for cycling.
"We want to support growth, improve the quality of our towpaths, connect with new routes and enable more communities to enjoy the canals. Towpaths are shared spaces with many different users and have to be treated carefully, so cycling will only be promoted where suitable."