Ranger For Canal Cyclists

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 114 months ago
Ranger For Canal Cyclists

Regents Canal towpathNow, we don't want to get into another slanging match over cyclists not being careful when using public pathways. Been there, done that. So here's a brief mention that - following (in the Camden Gazette's words) "more than 10 incidents involving cyclists crashing into pedestrians at speed" since January - a towpath ranger has been appointed to bring order to the chaos of the Regent's Canal and ensure users respect the rules. Joseph Young's beat will cover Paddington to Limehouse Basin - so that small number of "speeding cyclists" (again, the Gazette) know where to avoid.

Last Updated 02 October 2008


I've been cycling between Limehouse and Victoria park most days around 8-9am and 5-7pm for the last 7 months or so. Although i was told by another cyclist that he'd seen a few cyclists end up in the canal (!), i haven't seen much incident. Even on the hottest days of this summer I was surprised by how un-busy the route was.

I would say to the joggers / runners using the canal, it's much more comfortable in the parks! (with less impact-damage to body-parts such as knees)


I'm on board with this so long as they give the Towpath Ranger a cool Regency-style uniform.

There's a trick to riding on the towpath, in addition to the two tings rule: when encountering anyone on foot, pass on the water side. Nobody is going to take a step towards the edge of the canal. It's not a rule, it's a matter of instinct, and the cyclist has to take the initiative.

I think it is a pretty small minority of cyclists who are stupid enough to be reckless on the towpaths-- it's frightening, dammit-- but I have definitely run across such specimens.


I've walked the towpath from Primrose Hill to King's Cross every weekday for over a year, during peak periods. In all those trips, I've only ever once met a discourteous cyclist, and never had a close shave with anyone going fast. Maybe I'm just lucky.