London: What a quacking idea! You would have heard of bus lanes, taxi lanes and cycle lanes but now ducks in England have been given exclusive lanes so that humans don’t ruffle their feathers. The Canal and River Trust, which preserves over 2,000 miles of waterways throughout England and Wales, has created lanes exclusively for waterfowl in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
This temporary initiative is part of the trust’s “Share the Space, Drop your Pace” campaign, which encourages awareness among people — and now, animals — using the waterside walkways of England.
The Canal and River Trust has painted a white line demarcating areas to be used by the wildfowl with a stencilled silhouette of a duck, the Huffington Post reported. “As the numbers of people using the nation’s towpaths reaches record levels we’re calling for the reintroduction of old-fashioned manners to preserve the peace,” the Canal and River Trust said.
“Built at the time of the Industrial Revolution, towpaths are now busier than ever, with walkers, cyclists, boaters, anglers and runners –- not to mention the ducks and other creatures — all sharing the often narrow waterside paths,” it said.
However, it is unlikely, of course, that ducks will stick to the lanes, which serve a largely symbolic function. They are a visual reminder that people are all on this path together, and to get pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists to chill out and slow down.
“It just wouldn’t be possible to paint lanes on the towpath for all our different visitors so we thought the ducks could have one instead,” Claire Risino, campaigns manager at the Trust, was quoted as saying by media reports.