Families living by the Kennet and Avon Canal in Bradford on Avon have spoken of their concerns about the crumbling towpath.

They have called on British Waterways to take action after MS sufferer Frank Batchelor fell into the canal on his electric scooter on Friday. Matt Bolton, 33, who lives by the canal, was one of the first on the scene.

Mr Bolton’s pregnant wife Charlotte, 30, said it is not the first time that someone has fallen in from the narrow towpath.

“It does happen quite a lot,” she said. “Children have fallen in off their bikes. It is quite a sharp turn and the path has eroded quite badly.

“The lane by the houses is meant to be private for residents but people use it because the towpath is so bad on that stretch.

“British Waterways need to sort the path out and stop boats mooring. The mooring is making it worse and eroding the bank. There is a sign, but it is very small.”

Neighbour Jackie Benjamin said: “We have had long dealings with British Water-ways about it. It (the towpath) is very narrow, people with pushchairs can’t get down it.”

Susie Mercer, a spokesman for British Waterways, said: “It isn’t possible to widen the towpath without impinging on the width of the navigation. “We cannot provide a wide level surface in all locations and it is important for people to make their own judgements about whether a surface or location is appropriate to their needs.”