The Independent London Newspaper

 

Canal campaigners say towpath made narrow by developers building tower block is ‘a danger to walkers’

The narrowed towpath at City Road basin

Published: 28 September, 2012
by ANDREW JOHNSON

CANAL campaigners have accused a developer building a 36-storey tower block at Angel of narrowing a popular towpath so that access is potentially dangerous for walkers.

They have hit out at developer Mount Anvil, which has reduced part of the towpath at the Piazza at City Road basin to just five feet wide, claiming it has not provided “courtesy” notices apologising for the “nuisance” it is causing.

Local activist Leo Chapman has called on Islington Council to investigate the issue.

“The centre of the towpath is now ridged and very uncomfortable to walk on,” he said. “But the walkway is also dangerous because there are stone stairs on one side and  if you fell you could hurt yourself.”

Friends of Regent’s Canal chairman Ian Shacklock said that in the past two weeks hoarding has removed half the towpath, making it less attractive and safe to walk on.

“You feel like you are inside a building site,” he added. “We know they are building a skyscraper from hell but we don’t know how long the hoarding will be in place. We’ve had no notice about the hoarding or how long it will be up.”

A spokesman for Mount Anvil said the safety of the public was of utmost importance.

“The hoarding has been carefully located to maximise the distance between the workforce and the public walkway, minimising the likelihood  of the public coming into contact with any construction operations,” he added.

“It conforms to industry best practice and all required health and safety regulations by providing 1200mm wide access along the upper level of the basin towpath and allowing the uninterrupted flow of wheelchair and cycle users.

“We are committed to improving the facilities, safety and aesthetic of the City Road basin, and we will be engaging
a local architect to identify how best to increase accessibility and activity for  the public to enjoy.

“We will, of course, be liaising with other local stakeholders and interested parties for their input and ideas as to how we might achieve this shared ambition.”

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