Canalside capers.

Another sign showing people have priority over bikes!

Yesterday l nearly ran over a cocker spaniel – as it leapt in the air to try and catch a bird – directly in front of my bike.

The owner was a jogger – someway back from the dog. We were all sharing the towpath – beside the Kennet and Avon Canal – which passes through the city of Bath towards the River Avon.

The new ‘Pedestrian Priority’ signs that have gone up along the towpath.

The Canal and River Trust have put up signs saying pedestrians take priority on this shared pathway – a section of which was recently upgraded – but says nothing about control of dogs.

I have seen (and appreciate) so many responsible owners with their dogs on leads – or obediently called to heel when a bike approaches – but sometimes encounter packs of free running pets – enjoying their  unfettered freedom while the owners stand elsewhere in a group having a chat.

Does the priority extend also to walkers with dogs on or off leads? Joggers?

Not to mention mums with children in push chairs – a dog somewhere off the lead – and their attention focused on the mobile phone call they are making. In charge of what??

I will admit not every bike rider is responsible in terms of speed or due warning. Not all of them even carry a bell amongst the lycra and carbon fibre that must have cost a pretty penny,  but can l just remind people this towpath upgrade was paid for with money from a ‘cycle grant’ that B&NES decided to use on the project.

That most certainly gives cyclists a right to be here. Shared space does NOT work. Why oh why cannot B&NES and Co do what so many other European countries do and that is define spaces for cyclists by colour. A bit of that on the London Road would not go amiss.

In the meantime comments invited on this report from the BBC’s website about not using dog poo bags in the countryside.

I cannot for the life of me see why someone who has taken the trouble to bag it cannot hang on to it until a rubbish bit is reached.