ALL litter and dog waste bins along the canal towpath in Craven are to be removed with people being asked to 'take their rubbish home'.

Earlier this year, the Canal and River Trust said soaring costs of looking after the canals and a drop in available funding meant it could no longer bear the cost of maintaining and empting the bins.

Now, following a failed attempt to get North Yorkshire Council to take over their running, it says it will shortly be removing all 12 of the bins from Bank Newton to Kildwick.

It includes both litter and dog-poo bins with only those that are serviced 'free of charge' to the trust by others left - believed to be none at all.

North Yorkshire Council says it is not prepared to take over servicing of the bins - which not only includes Craven but also Selby and Ripon - as it is facing its own financial pressures, but has offered to work with community groups to help keep the areas clean and tidy.

Karl Battersby, North Yorkshire Council’s director for environmental services, said: “We were informed of the Canal and River Trust’s intention to remove most of the bins from towpaths alongside canals across North Yorkshire and we fully understand the financial pressures it is facing.

“However, in this challenging financial environment, we are having to make tough budget choices ourselves and are unable to bear the cost of servicing the litter and dog waste bins.

“We will, however, work with and continue to provide support to volunteers and community groups to help ensure the locations remain tidy.

“We are reminding anyone using the canal sides of their personal responsibility to dispose of their rubbish properly when out and about.

“If there is not a public bin nearby, or you arrive at a bin that is already full, please take your rubbish home and ensure it is recycled whenever possible.”

The Canal and River Trust said it initially wrote to the former Craven District Council earlier in the year advising the authority of its intention to remove 12 bins along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

It also contacted local authorities across its Yorkshire and North East region. "As a charity, the Trust is faced with soaring costs of looking after the region’s ageing canals at a time when available funding is stretched – notably the continuing real-terms decline in funding from government.

"We need to prioritise maintaining the core fabric of the waterways, including the thousands of locks, bridges, aqueducts and other historic structures that make up the canal network, so that we can continue to provide free access to our towpaths for millions of people and maintain the integrity of the infrastructure to keep communities safe.

"The decision to remove our bins will save much needed money that will help pay for a long list of vital repairs.

"The Trust has many miles of canal where we don’t provide litter bins, including many that have achieved Green Flag Award status.

"Along these canals today, and in future where bins have to be removed, we are asking people who come to enjoy our free-to-visit waterways to follow the Countryside Code and take their litter back with them to be recycled where possible or disposed of responsibly.

"In doing so, they will be helping to protect the environment and helping our charity save vital money so we can keep the canals open."