I know l am an old dog with a bone, but what is it with dog owners and poop bags?
Walking up the slope from Grosvenor Bridge to the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath, with my partner, we counted EIGHT such ‘filled’ containers tossed to the side.
Having at least gone through the motions (forgive the pun) of picking their dog’s poop up – l cannot understand why the public exhibition of responsibility and care cannot extend to taking the contents as far as a bin to dispose of it.
I don’t own a dog and have no idea whether these bags are biodegradable. We are trying to take plastic out of the environment aren’t we?
While we’re up on the towpath can l take issue with the notices that have been erected regarding pedestrian priority. Simple little message regarding bikes ‘giving way’ to people and reducing speed.
Don’t quarrel with that at all but does priority also extend to dog walkers with their pets on or off the lead?
Those on an extendable lead give a cyclist a bit of a problem – when the cable lies across the footpath – while dogs OFF the lead is an obvious hazard – especially when the owner is ON their mobile phone.
And what about joggers? Quite a few of those too in Bath, what with its noble reputation for organised road events. Should a cyclist stop to wave them by?
The idea of sharing this safe route into town is all a bit half-hearted. There is no effort to encourage cyclists off the London Road and onto this canal-side pathway into Bath.
Tarmac with one side painted green for cyclists would have been a much better idea and, l am sorry, but dogs should be under proper control and on a lead.
Shared spaces don’t work but, if there is going to be any real peace amongst the towpath users, everyone must take responsibility for their actions.
PS. It really is time the rubbish bin at the London Road end of Grosvenor Bridge was replaced.
The bottom is rusted through. This is a busy old litter bin, as the canal folk come down to put their waste in it too!
As a responsible dog owner, it does make me cross when people do this with poo bags. But on the K&A there is, I fear, a dearth of dog bins. Tackle B&NEs and they say it’s the fault of the CRT, who won’t allow them there. Tackle the CRT and they will (probably ) say it’s the fault of B&NES who refuse to empty them regularly. I don’t see why doggie chemical toilets can’t be installed at regular intervals which would solve the problem. . But as to dogs on the towpath upsetting cyclists, I would like to point out that had it not been for indefatigible dog owners like myself walking our dogs along this path to keep it open back in the day (see my book Queen of Waters) you might not even have a towpath to cycle on. So please – a little more kindness towards dogs, please.
A good point to make, and it’s nice to hear from a responsible dog owner. I know there are plenty out there. However, if the stuff is bagged, why can’t owners take it home or carry it to the nearest bin they come across on their walk?
The idea that we can try and get ‘cyclists’ off of London Road and onto the towpath is something Cllr Anthony Clarke has mentioned to me before. The reality however is very different. The towpath is dark and isolated at night as it should be. However this can, and does, make women cycling this route uncomfortable due to safety concerns. I know of one lady who will not use the river path after dark and prefers riding along Upper Bristol Road. It is why the Bath Cycle Network map marks the towpath as a secondary route. It is not an ‘inclusive’ route.
What is more interesting about the CRT signs is that the focus has been on the interaction between pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists. Putting pedestrians at the ‘top of the tree’ as the most vulnerable. Although good to keep reminding the public of this, many pedestrians are also irresponsible dog owners. Poo berries are a bane of the two tunnels and I have been part of Sustrans volunteer work parties clearing them up. I think it is time that the CRT recognise that there is a problem with irresponsible dog owners and start putting up the full Towpath Code of Conduct with the section for dog owners highlighted.
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