THE deaths of Ian Taylor and Gabriel Stocks should surely hit home to people who ignored the closures of flooded paths and roads during the winter.

The loss of both men is a tragedy and we do not wish to be misinterpreted as criticising either of them.

However, there were many examples of pure foolhardiness during January and February where people just ignored the warning or closure signs in some sort of warped ‘Blitz’ spirit.

They felt the emergency services were being over-cautious and they could just carry on carrying on.

But these measures were not put in place for the fun of it. Our emergency services had good reasons for imposing these restrictions and they were solely for the safety of the public.

There were stretches of the towpath where you could quite clearly see how people could get disorientated and take a wrong step into the river.

The deaths of Mr Taylor and Mr Stocks should hopefully stand as a salutory warning for the next inevitable flooding.