A NEW towpath code of conduct was launched by the Grand Western Canal Country Park Ranger Service this week.

The aim is to encourage safer and more considerate use of the towpath by cyclists, walkers and anglers.

The code explains the behaviour expected of all towpath users and reminds people that horse riding and motorcycle use are not permitted.

The code of conduct has adopted the ‘two tings’ message and logo which is being promoted by British Waterways on some of its busier canal towpaths.

This requests cyclists to ring their bell twice as they approach pedestrians and to pass slowly.

Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “The Canal Rangers do receive complaints relating to cyclists passing walkers from behind at great speed with no warning.

“This can be particularly distressing for more elderly walkers and those with hearing difficulties.

“The code of conduct makes it clear that the towpath can be enjoyed by us all if everyone takes a little extra care.”

Paul Williams, Mid Devon District Councillor for Cranmore and Chairman of the Canal’s Joint Advisory Committee, said: “The Code of Conduct is about two ‘tings’. The first 'ting' is to make sure you have a great time on our canal towpath in perfect safety.

“The second 'ting' helps you respect and appreciate other canal users.”

Canal Manager, Mark Baker, said: “In producing the code of conduct we have consulted with a range of organisations.

“Accidents and near misses do occur on the towpath. We hope that all canal users will acknowledge their responsibilities when using the towpath and show consideration for everyone else.”