The deadline for the consultation about BaNES Council’s plans to upgrade the towpath along the K&A between Sydney Gardens and Bathampton is 11th September. There is an online questionnaire and detailed information about the Council’s plans here http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/your-council-and-democracy/consultations/kennet-and-avon-canal-towpath-improvement
Many boaters, especially liveaboards, are concerned that upgrading the towpath surface will lead to faster cycling and greater risks on the towpath. This concern is shared by many local residents and other towpath users.
Others have concerns that the works will make it harder or impossible to hammer mooring pins into the ground, making it difficult to moor boats between Bathampton and Sydney Gardens. The consultation does not guarantee this; it merely states that “ideally existing verge width to be maintained”. Another problem is that the towpath will be closed during the works which are planned to take place between January and May 2016 but it is not stated whether boats will still be able to moor between Bathampton and Sydney Gardens while the work is going on.
It’s up to boaters to make their concerns known by responding to the consultation.