Nothing ruins a pleasant stroll along the Regent's Canal quicker than the antics of some bell-ringing berk on her fixie cutting you up as she rushes past like Victoria Pendleton. Debrett's new guide to towpath etiquette, which the almanac of modern manners was invited to pen by British Waterways, is aimed at changing such behaviour and improving canalside conduct. The guide reminds cyclists that pedestrians have the right of way, and recommends a double-ting on the bell when approaching walkers, but it also suggests ways that pedestrians can be mindful of other users. Well-intentioned as this guide surely is, its light touch and genteel suggestion that people offer "a smile and a 'thank you'" probably isn't going to wash in modern, hard-nosed London.
Last Updated 30 September 2010