Stay away from towpaths - new Scottish Canals campaign
New posters are being displayed after “Do not travel to our canals” pleas last week were ignored.
One of the new signs read: “Towpaths open for local use only. Stay home, stay safe and save lives. Limit your use of canal towpaths.”
Another stated: “Do not travel to the canals. Stay local. Be responsible. Consider alternative routes.”
The Scottish Canal network includes the Union between Falkirk and Edinburgh, and the Forth & Clyde between Grangemouth and Bowling.
Chief executive Catherine Topley said: “I know many are tempted to go out and enjoy the weather.
“There are reports of large groups and numbers using the canals.
“This would normally really excite me, but today I ask you to please think twice.
“Avoid public places and narrow paths.
“Sadly, some people are not following the guidance.
“In Falkirk, we have seen groups of walkers and families out.
“I entirely understand the temptation to enjoy the Scottish sun, but I am strongly suggesting people consider where they go for their daily exercise to avoid contact with others where possible.
“Edinburgh has been another area where in the narrow paths people still come to run, cycle and walk in groups.
“We are arranging a poster campaign to encourage people to stay close to home and think twice about where to exercise.”
Edinburgh City Council Green councillor and city canal champion Gavin Corbett said problem areas on the Union Canal in Edinburgh included between Gibson Terrace and Harrison Road in Merchiston, and Ashley Drive in Polwarth to Hailes Quarry Park in Kingsknowe.
He said: “In normal times I cycle, walk, run and kayak on the Union Canal and I’m always enthusing about why should people should visit it.
“But these are not normal times and in some parts the canal towpath is way too narrow for the number of people using it just now.
“So my plea, just for these few weeks, is to ask as many people as possible to find other routes to walk, cycle and run, especially in peak periods, during the day.
“After all, the roads are so quiet just now for bikes and runners.
“I say this reluctantly because I know how beautiful the canal can be.
“But it’s been here for 200 years and it’ll be there for many more years to come, to visit, picnic by and enjoy.”