£100 fine for using closed towpath
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.