£100 fine for us­ing closed tow­path

ROCHDALE CANAL

Canal Boat - - News -

PEO­PLE WHO ig­nore overnight clo­sures of a length of tow­path in cen­tral Manch­ester could face a fine of £100 as a re­sult of an or­der be­ing sought by the city coun­cil.

The length in ques­tion is the sec­tion of tow­path along­side the Rochdale Canal where it passes through the ‘Pic­cadilly Un­der­croft’, a sec­tion of canal be­tween Dale Street and Auburn Street (pic­tured re­cently while drained for main­te­nance) which runs in a con­crete tun­nel cre­ated by 1960s build­ing con­struc­tion.

Af­ter sev­eral late-night fa­tal­i­ties re­sult­ing from peo­ple ac­ci­den­tally fall­ing in the canal or in some cases vi­o­lent as­saults, the de­ci­sion was taken to close the tow­path be­tween 10pm and 7am – but that hasn’t pre­vented some peo­ple from ig­nor­ing the ban.

The coun­cil has now ap­plied for a Pub­lic Space Pro­tec­tion Or­der – which is sim­i­lar to an Anti-So­cial Be­hav­iour Or­der (ASBO) but re­lates to a ge­o­graph­i­cal area – mean­ing that any fur­ther in­fringe­ments would make of­fend­ers li­able to a £100 fine.

Coun­cil spokesman Pat Kar­ney said the or­der “has been a long time com­ing be­cause of the le­gal­i­ties but will start to save lives from April 24”, adding that de­pend­ing on the suc­cess of the ini­tial or­der, fur­ther ar­eas of the canal might be in­cluded too.

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