A CANAL patroller will no longer be a lone ranger as a new deputy has just been appointed to help him.
Towpath ranger Joseph Young began patrolling the Regent's Canal in September last year, but following an increase in the number of people cycling, Brian Smith was announced as his deputy. The post was created to cut down on conflict between pedestrians and speeding cyclists, by encouraging towpath users to respect each other.
New deputy ranger Brian Smith, said: "The towpath is a fabulous resource that's completely free for Londoners to use. The waterways are full of heritage and abundant wildlife which can be admired as people pass by. I can't wait to meet more people over the coming year."
Rising fuel prices and an awareness of carbon footprints have encouraged many commuters to get on their bikes and travel to work along the canals.
But as more people use the towpaths, the rangers will have to work harder to encourage pedestrians and cyclists to respect each other.
Joseph Young, towpath ranger, said: "We encourage cyclists to use the towpath as it ís a fantastic green route across the city, it can be quicker then other modes of transport as well as a great source of fitness, but we need both walkers and cyclists to respect shared use of the towpath."
He helped set up the 'two tings' campaign, along the Regent's and Grand Union Canals.
This means cyclists should ring their bells twice before approaching pedestrians, to warn them of their presence, but not to order them to get out of their way.
On May 28, the pair will be holding a 'two tings' event along the Westbourne Grove cycle path, on the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal. From 7.30am to 9.30am, they will be dishing out free bells and cycling advice to towpath users. For more information see www.britishwaterways.co.uk