Safety - sites on canal paths

Something I’ve seen quite often and I’m uncertain on is what is considered an unsafe location for a site regarding proximity to water?

I know the safety rules mention crossing water but are rather vague.

Would a narrow canalside path be considered safe? The obvious concern is that it’s right next to a deep body of water that can be difficult to climb out of. I’ve also seen locks listed as sites, where the lock can be crossed by a very narrow walkway on top of the gates. For adults, at your own risk, but I’d certainly consider a lock extremely dangerous for a child and would fail for me under the ‘crossing a water body’ criteria.

I would say all of that is safe access. If we start getting into what makes a path safe enough we might as well delete all the stuff in cities due to traffic.


I think for safety you have to judge an individual submission on its own merits or lack of.

Having a catch all answer for canal paths and locks doesn’t really work :slight_smile:

If you think it’s safe submit it or reject if you are reviewing and it looks unsafe.


If the local jurisdictions have deemed it safe by allowing unlimited public access via a footpath, it by default should be a safe location.


Whether the public is allowed access or not is in no way a measure of safety!

In my city alone there have been around 85 deaths of people falling into canals in the past 18 years.

The Manchester Canal Pusher: a real serial killer or just an urban myth? - Proper Manchester

I have an ex who lives in Manchester. Back when we were dating, we would often walked down Canal Street on route to the Salisbury or to the bus station. We never once ended up in the canal itself. I suspect that given the number of establishments that serve alcohol near the canal, plus the fact that there may also be other substances involved, most people who have fallen in the canal have probably done so because they were under the influence, and not because it’s inherently unsafe to walk next to the canal. When you’re drunk, everything has the potential to be unsafe, even completely level ground.


There’s a reason we got so many warnings about being aware of our surroundings when loading Pokémon Go over the years :laughing:

If you look where you’re walking it is indeed unlikely that you’re going to fall in. Common sense comes to mind. Same as when walking next to a road.

The way I look at it, the paths are safe. But people sometimes venture off them, and that’s up to those people not the person who submitted a waypoint on a path. Sometimes maybe theres a landslide etc and the path really does go. But usually those will be repaired quickly or a diversion added, so the path remains safe overall.

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I agree, we need to apply some basic common sense here. Otherwise, where would it stop?

Should we deem any park path unsafe under trees, as branches can fall down in the wind? Are outdoor gyms unsafe as someone might slip off a balance beam? And so on.


Playgrounds seem quite treacherous places to be honest :wink: lots of things to fall off