At the start of the Easter weekend, the Canal and River Trust is urging Silsden residents to strictly limit their use of towpaths.
The government guidance on Coronavirus remains that people should stay at home and avoid going out where possible, except for daily exercise, medical appointments, work or buying essential supplies.
And the agency responsible for the area’s waterways is backing up that advice.
In a statement, the Canal and River Trust said: “We appreciate the important role our canals play in urban areas – providing vital green space – however towpaths should be strictly for local use only during the coronavirus pandemic. People must follow social distancing measures at all times, taking extra care on narrow towpaths.
“Our plea to everyone thinking of using the towpath is to be mindful of others and act always with consideration and with respect. If we all continue to observe government guidance – to strictly apply social distancing, and follow advice to stay local and limit towpath use – then together we can combat this pandemic, and be able to enjoy getting back out on or by our waterways when we’ve beaten it.”
The organisation says there are particular issues with using towpaths as they are often narrow and, in some places, have people living in boats moored alongside. Where a local journey is essential, the Trust is asking people to try to avoid stretches with multiple moored boats, use the full width of the towpath when passing, keep moving, and stand aside to allow others to pass, in single file.
It also says it’s built an online hub containing canal-related films, images, interactive content and stories for everyone to enjoy safely at home to get their enjoyment of the waterways virtually.