Worried canal users welcome chicanes on danger towpath in Islington
�Parents and pedestrians have welcomed moves to tackle “aggressive and �intimidating” cyclists blighting a canal used by dozens of schoolchildren every day.
British Waterways is �considering installing up to four chicanes in the Islington section of the Regent’s Canal towpath to slow speeding bikes.
Users of the path – including worried parents of children at Hanover Primary School in nearby Noel Road – hope the measure will put a stop to reckless riding.
Kate Johnstone, 40, of �Rydon Street, Islington, whose seven-year-old daughter is at the school, said: “There are 30 to 40 children who use the towpath every day and a lot of parents are really anxious about it.
“It feels so dangerous, �cyclists bomb along and don’t make allowances for kids.
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“My daughter gets really nervous about being knocked in and I have seen children and parents hit. Chicanes would make a real difference.”
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There are blind spots and very narrow sections around Danbury Street and Wharf Road which are particularly troubling, she said.
The Islington stretch is one of the busiest on the �canal with up to 1,000 people passing an hour, including hundreds of cyclists at peak times.
There is no speed limit but walkers have long �complained of bikers dangerously racing along the path – 1.2 metres at its widest – at breakneck pace.
Peter Streatfield, 54, of Ockendon Road, Islington, who regularly walks his dog by the canal, said: “There’s a significant minority of very aggressive people who are i�ntimidating the users of the canal and it’s got worse in �recent years.”
Chicanes would make �cyclists slow or dismount and could persuade them to choose routes off the canal.
Cllr Martin Klute, Labour member for St Peter’s ward, said: “There have been collisions and it’s intimidating and unsettling for pedestrians. If there are four �chicanes to slow them down hopefully it will do the trick.”
Dick Vincent, a towpath ranger for British Waterways, said the plan was not yet definite but added: “We share people’s concerns and there is an issue. We have to find a way to make it safe and usable for everyone.”