Hi there, For the last 2 years I've commuted into Manchester on the roads 4 days a week on my road bike. The route is Ashton to the city centre and is about 7.5 miles, heavily congested and full of exhaust fumes. I decided to buy a cyclocross bike and ride the "Ashton Canal" into town which is what I've been doing for the last few weeks. I'm really enjoying the fresh air and relaxed pace. With winter approaching I have a few questions: In regards to the local waifs & strays, how safe are canals (the Ashton Canal in particular if anyone has the experience) after dark? Are they gritted when the mercury drops? Thanks.