Free bells for cyclists on 'busier than usual' Chesterfield Canal towpaths
Cyclists using towpaths alongside the Chesterfield Canal are being offered free bells to keep other users of the waterway safe.
Volunteers at Chesterfield Canal Trust say the paths have been ‘busier than usual’ as more people discover the ‘glorious’ waterside routes amid the pandemic.
They have now teamed up with Chesterfield Cycle Campaign, Ride Bolsover and the Rotary Club of Scarsdale Chesterfield for a new campaign to boost safety.
Trust spokesperson Rod Auton said: “Ever since the first lockdown, the Chesterfield Canal towpath has been busier than usual as many local people have discovered this glorious green oasis right on their doorsteps.
“It is wonderful to see so many people enjoying our fabulous canal and whilst the vast majority of cyclists are polite and go at a moderate pace, there are a few who seem to be in a hurry.
"This can lead to problems if they come up behind walkers unexpectedly.
“That’s why we’re giving away free bells so that all cyclists can give a warning to walkers.”
Cyclists will be able to pick up a free bell during the last week of May from the trust’s Information Centre and Shop at Hollingwood Hub.
They have been donated by the rotary club, which is asking for voluntary donations towards Ashgate Hospice in return.
On Saturday, May 29, between 10.30am and 2.30pm, there will also be a Dr Bike workshop at Hollingwood Hub provided by Inclusive Pedals with funding by Cycling UK.
Anyone can go to get advice on any aspect of cycling, including practical help for repairs and maintenance. There will also be local cycling information and maps available.
Rod added: “We are very grateful to the Rotary Club of Scarsdale Chesterfield for their incredible generosity in providing these bells and we hope that people are equally generous in their donations to Ashgate Hospice.”
Chesterfield borough councillors last month unanimously approved major plans to restore another key stretch of the canal, a 1.6-mile section between Staveley and the edge of Renishaw.
Coun Keith Miles said it was a project ‘that puts Chesterfield and Staveley on the map as somewhere you need to visit’.