Supplementary memorandum submitted by
the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (PAC
British Waterways has a responsibility to preserve
public access to towpaths and an obligation to keep them safe
for users, though it does not have a legal obligation to maintain
them. It raises funds for the maintenance of towpaths through
maintenance agreements with local authorities reflecting the amenity
which they provide for the general public. British Waterways introduced
an annual charge for cycling by adults using the Kennet and Avon
Canal towpath as a pilot scheme in 1997. It proposes to abolish
this arrangement when the local authorities agree to contribute
to the maintenance of the towpath.
QUESTIONS 60 &
The Department has not approached Railtrack
about establishing cycle tracks adjacent to operational railway
lines. Such tracks have been established successfully in some
places but there needs to be secure separation between cyclists
and the railway. Whether it is appropriate for a cycle track to
be co-located with a railway is very much a matter for local judgement.
If local authorities believe that the line of an operational railway
could provide an essential link in a cycle route or network, then
it is open to them to explore the possibilities with Railtrack.
4 May 2001