Cyclists, runners, walkers, boaters, anglers and paddlers are being encouraged to share Scotland’s canal space with the launch of ‘Boats, Bikes, Boots and Beyond: A guide to using Scotland’s canals responsibly’.
From the water to the banks and beyond, Scotland’s canals are busier than ever, with more than 22 million people enjoying the diverse environments of the nation’s waterways each year.
To help ensure everyone can make the most of their time on and alongside the water, the Lowland Canals Key Stakeholder Group, which includes members from Spokes, Ramblers Scotland, Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling, RYA Scotland, Forth & Clyde Canal Society, Glasgow Watersports and general interest groups, worked together to develop an easy to understand and follow users code for Scotland’s 137 miles of canal network. Centred around three easy to remember pointers – ‘share the space’, ‘drop your pace’ and ‘it’s a special place’ – the guide lets users know what to expect from other groups on and around the canal as well as reminding them to take care, stay safe and share the space considerately.
The initiative was launched today (Thursday 26th May) at Harrison Park in Edinburgh with members of the public alongside representatives from the Lowland Canal Key Stakeholders Group, Bridge8 Hub and local Fountainbridge-Craiglockhart councillor and keen cyclist Gavin Corbett, who was involved in the development of the Towpath Code of Conduct, representing the diverse users of Scotland’s 137 miles of canal network.
Speaking ahead of today’s launch Russell Thomson, Head of Customer Operations at Scottish Canals, said: “Scotland’s canals play a vital role in the communities they run through and they are busier than ever before. They’re increasingly significant destinations for leisure, exercise and commuting and with so many people coming together to enjoy the space it was vital that the different user groups came together to create some easy to understand and follow guidelines which would allow all users to enjoy the space in a fair and responsible way.”