Towpath walkers warning

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THE Canal and River Trust is asking people enjoying its towpaths in Wigan to take extra care as the winter chill descends.

The new charity that cares for the nation’s waterways is urging people to be alert to the dangers of icy waterways now that temperatures have dropped. Towpaths, bridges and lock-sides can become slippery at this time of year and snow can conceal boat mooring rings and ropes which, unless people are paying attention, can be easy to trip over.

While frozen canals look beautiful no-one should ever attempt to walk on or test the thickness of the ice.

Families should make sure that young children are kept within sight and made aware of the importance of staying away from the edge. Dog walkers are advised to keep dogs on leads during a freeze, and never follow their animal on to the ice.

Safety advisor at Canal and River Trust Steve Astles said: “Canals and rivers in Greater Manchester remain popular throughout the winter months when they provide a frosty escape for walkers, cyclists, anglers and joggers.

“However it can be easy for people to become complacent and forget the potential dangers that icy towpaths and waterways can present.

“It’s important that people take care whilst enjoying the waterways this winter, wear appropriate footwear and stay away from the edge.“