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Towpath Users Survey – A BIG Thank you!

Twenty two volunteers speak to 1,500 users

For four days during the wet & windy first week of May a team of twenty-two Cotswold Canals Trust Volunteers have been talking to more than 1,500 people on the towpath between Stonehouse and Brimscombe.

Taking notice of experiences

Val Kirby, Chair of the Saul to Stonehouse Restoration Funding bid explained… “We thank everyone who took part, the volunteers and towpath users alike. We need to find out what people do when they visit the towpath, and what they think about their experiences. Knowing about these things will help us plan the next phase of the restoration. We can also demonstrate to the Heritage Lottery Fund – the major source of funds for restoration, that we are taking notice of what is said by those who use the section already restored.”

Mixed weather conditions

The varied weather over the four day period of the survey was not always kind to the survey teams or the towpath users. Val Kirby is photographed during a sunny Sunday morning. John Clissold and Steve Pickover took shelter from the showers beneath Stroud Brewery Bridge for another of the Wallbridge sessions.

Overwhelming support

Whilst the detailed analysis of all the data has yet to be completed, it became clear, even before the end of day one, that there is overwhelming support for the restoration.

People used phrases such as ‘Brilliant’ – ‘Good value for money’ and ‘Great for wildlife and the environment’.

Click on the images to view larger versions

A cautionary note

Such enthusiasm was tempered by some reports of cyclists using the towpath at high speeds. Some of those cyclists reportedly choose not to ring their warning bell!

Volunteers continue to work on the towpath turning muddy sections into smooth and even surfaces that can be used by other wheeled personal transport from mobility buggies through to inline roller skates and children’s scooters.

The message for us all must surely be…‘Slow your pace and share the space’ especially on the narrower sections.

Watch this space

Val Kirby repeated her thanks to all concerned and said… “A group of our experienced volunteers are now engaged on the detailed statistical analysis. When we have those results, we will let you know.”