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Thursday 11 July

Today's news from the web

  • River Thames flotilla celebrates new £32m Walton Bridge bbc.co.uk

    A flotilla of boats has passed under the new £32m Walton Bridge in Surrey - the first new road bridge to be built over the Thames for more than 20 years. The celebrations marked the completion of the structure ahead of its official opening on 22 July. The new bridge replaces two temporary bridges connecting Walton and Shepperton built when an earlier bridge was damaged in World War II....


Wednesday 3 July

Defra to CRT: ‘There's no money left for EA navigations’

Defra has announced the postponement of plans to transfer control of the River Thames and other EA navigations to the Canal & River Trust, calling it ‘unaffordable’ in the present climate. 

The news comes after the Treasury told Defra to make extra savings in next year's government spending round. 

The transfer to CRT control was originally planned for 2015-16, but was dependent on the EA waterways coming with a ‘dowry’, sufficient to ensure they could be properly maintained independently of the government. 

However, in a written statement to Parliament on 3rd July, waterways minister Richard Benyon said the government’s view was that CRT taking control was still the most sustainable long-term solution, and it would review the situation ‘after the next Spending Round.’ 

The announcement comes as a blow to CRT, whose chairman Tony Hales immediately responded:
 
“This is disappointing news and a missed opportunity.  In less than a year, the transfer of British Waterways to the voluntary sector has begun to revolutionise the way that our canals and rivers are cared for, opening up improved engagement and new opportunities for volunteering and fundraising. 

"There is no reason that we could not have seen the same benefits on the EA’s navigations. We remain ready to look at these plans when the Government is next able to proceed.”
 
But the response from some quarters was more enthusiastic, as the idea of the transfer is disliked by many EA waterways users. This is especially true on the Thames, where the River Thames Society says a very different culture pervades the 'royal' river.'

"It's great news for everyone on the Thames," said one source from the RIver Thames Society. "Let's hope this 'postponement' turns out to be permanent." 

The IWA was quick to line up with CRT, calling it a 'missed opportunity'. 

IWA chairman Les Etheridge said: "We understand that 65% of the income for the Agency’s navigations comes from government grant in aid, and this has already been substantially cut.  Worse still, there are clearly prospects for further cuts which could impose additional financial burdens on users of the EA navigations, and in particular boaters. Inclusion of EA’s navigations within CRT offers many benefits, but especially surety of income once a deal with government is achieved.”

“IWA will now redouble its efforts to support and lobby for the earliest implementation of this policy.”

Andrew Denny  | 11.30am | add a comment


Today's news from the web

  • Manchester canals rejuvenated after being adopted by those living along their banks manchestereveningnews.co.uk

    Two Victorian canals are being given a new lease of life after people living along their banks ‘adopted’ them. Volunteers living alongside the Ashton and Rochdale canals in Manchester are running monthly clean-up days to keep them looking their best. They set up the Ancoats Canal Project with the support of national charity, the Canal and River Trust, to publicise the canals’ history and encourage people to make more use of th...


Tuesday 2 July

Today's news from the web

  • CRT celebrate first birthday with 'Adopt a canal' campaign canalrivertrust.org.uk

    Adopt a canal: As we celebrate our first birthday today, we’re launching an appeal for communities to transform their local canal or river by adopting mile-long stretches of waterways across England and Wales. ...

  • Yorkshire Ouse ice cream boat a hit with visitors bbc.co.uk

    A floating ice cream parlour has become a summer hit with visitors to the River Ouse, in York. Businessman Steve Blakeman built the unique vessel from a tugboat, from Hebden Bridge, and an ice cream van, from Robin Hood's Bay. The boat is equipped with a serving hatch on both sides to allow tourists on either bank of the river and on the water to enjoy an ice cream. ...


Friday 28 June

Today's news from the web

  • Divided opinions over Chichester Canal restoration plan chichester.co.uk

    An ambitious £3.5m project to open Chichester Canal to the sea could soon become a reality after 15 years of planning. The Chichester Ship Canal Trust is hoping to submit a plan later this year which would restore navigation from Chichester Canal Basin to Chichester Harbour....


Friday 21 June

Today's news from the web

  • Who wants to bet on a 'Nicaragua Canal'? uk.reuters.com

    Investors and infrastructure experts are highly dubious that a Nicaragua Canal will ever be built. "Are international shipping companies going to trust a one-guy shop with minor telecommunications experience to be the system integrator on a $40 billion project in a country whose transparency is already subject to question?", said Evan Ellis, a professor of national security studies at the U.S. Government's National Defence University....


Monday 17 June

Today's news from the web

  • Rideau Canal workers’ plaque ceremony to finally proceed ottawacitizen.com

    Kevin Dooley was ecstatic when Environment Minister Peter Kent announced last November that the workers who built the Rideau Canal in the early 19th century would finally be recognized as historically significant. Dooley was part of an ad hoc group that pushed for the recognition for six years, overcoming initial rejection by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board, which declared that the work of the 5,000 to 6,000 Irish and French-Canadian labourers was “not unusual, nor was it remarkable.” Kent’s announcement was a welcome vindication and swept away years of frustration for Dooley and his fellow campaigners. But Wednesday, his frustration had returned because two proposed dates for the canal-side ceremony celebrating the workers’ designation had passed with no firm date in sight. ...

  • Video: The moment Liverpool 'Duckmarine' tourist boat sank captured on camera telegraph.co.uk

    Amateur footage has emerged of the moment when an amphibious tour bus sank in Liverpool's Albert Dock. 31 people had to be rescued or swim to the dockside. The video shows people jumping into the water out of the boat and swimming away from the vessel. The boat appears to sink rapidly. A number of people were taken to hospital after the Yellow Duckmarine vessel went under just before 4pm yesterday. A "multi-agency investigation" has been launched into the sinking - the second in three months....

  • Hackney Mayor: 'We'll bill organisers for canal rave cleanup' hackneycitizen.co.uk

    Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the council’s clean-up operation following a massive rave on the Regent’s Canal earlier this month, Hackney Council says. Council leader Mayor Jules Pipe is keen to recoup nearly £2,000 in costs from the organisers of Canalival – the huge free party on the waterway. Billed as a “caravan of calamity”, Canalival was cancelled at eleventh hour via social media by the organisers, believed to be a group called Animal Control....

  • Jogger: I flung myself into Regent's Canal to escape sex attacker standard.co.uk

    A jogger has told how she leapt into London's Regent's Canal to escape a violent sex attacker. The terrified 23-year-old charity worker said she tried to fight off the man after he grabbed her and wrestled her to the ground next to the Regent’s Canal. She told how she screamed for help during the attack which happened at 9pm on April 16, but the man covered her mouth and pushed her to the ground. There were six attacks over five weeks in the area, which are being investigated by police....

  • Gala celebrates 50 years of Stoke Bruerne’s Canal Museum northamptonchron.co.uk

    Crowds flocked to the 8th annual Stoke Bruerne Canal Gala over the weekend. This year’s gala was extra special as it also helped to mark celebrations for the 50th anniversary since the opening of the Canal Museum in Stoke Bruerne....

  • Repairs delayed on Aylesbury arm lock collapse bbc.co.uk

    Work to repair a 170-year-old lock wall which collapsed on the Grand Union Canal in Buckinghamshire is taking longer to complete than expected. The wall of the Buckland lock gave way in March, leaving narrow boats in the Aylesbury basin unable to connect to the main waterway. About 20 boats were lifted out by crane and taken to Milton Keynes. It is understood repairs are unlikely to be completed in time for the August bank holiday, as expected....

  • Stretch of Grantham canal to be reopened meltontimes.co.uk

    A stretch of the Grantham Canal in the Vale of Belvoir is set to be reopened after more than 80 years. Two new locks will be installed at Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir during late summer. Mike Stone, chairman of the Grantham Canal Society, said: “The canal goes through some beautiful countryside and we want people to be able to appreciate it and to use it for whatever interest they have, whether it’s angling, boating, walking or cycling.”...


Tuesday 11 June

Today's news from the web

  • Nicaragua fast-tracks Chinese plan to build canal to rival Panama guardian.co.uk

    A Nicaraguan congressional committee has approved giving a China-based consortium the concession to build and operate a canal between the Pacific and Caribbean, fast-tracking the huge development project despite objections from the opposition. The infrastructure committee president, Jenny Martínez, said the bill had immediately been sent to the National Assembly, which is expected to approve it on Thursday. President Daniel Ortega's Sandinista Front controls the national legislature with 63 out of 92 politicians. ...

  • Bringing a panoramic treasure of River Thames back to life surreycomet.co.uk

    The story begins in 1829, when Samuel Leigh published his panorama of the Thames from London to Richmond, an astonishing piece of art showing every landmark on both sides of the 15-mile stretch of river from Westminster Bridge to Petersham Meadows. Sixty feet long, composed of 46 prints glued together and folded into a concertina, it was designed for boat users at a time when the river was a prime means of transport....

  • Basingstoke Canal Society's new £160,000 boat christened basingstokegazette.co.uk

    A bottle of Champagne was poured over the bow of a brand new canal boat which was officially named by BBC South Today presenter Sally Taylor. The John Pinkerton II made an impressive entrance at Colt Hill Wharf, in Odiham, where dozens of people lined the tow-path of the Basingstoke Canal to admire the 70ft boat arrive, with Ms Taylor on board. The £160,000 passenger boat replaces the John Pinkerton, and was bought by Basingstoke Canal Society thanks to a generous legacy from Alan Flight, who was a member of the society....

  • Daisy's one-dog mission to clean up canal path worcesternews.co.uk

    She might not be your usual sort of rubbish collector but Daisy the dog certainly has a nose for litter. The four-year-old cockapoo has taken it upon herself to tidy up the unsightly rubbish on her daily walks along Worcester’s canal paths with owner Judy Owens. And the city’s newest unofficial beer can collector has won a vote of thanks from the Canal and River Trust for her efforts....


Thursday 6 June

Today's news from the web

  • Cleaning waterways, one paddle at a time in Pittsburgh post-gazette.com

    In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, volunteer group Paddle Without Pollution uses kayaks to clean up its rivers: "Early on a brisk Saturday morning, kayakers paddled along the Allegheny River, loaded down with tires, trash bags and barrels. They come and go from the dock in Tarentum, unloading debris, resting for a minute, then heading back out to search for more. These are volunteers with the nonprofit Paddle Without Pollution, founded two years ago by Melissa and Dave Rohm of Scott. Pittsburgh natives and avid outdoors enthusiasts, they decided to get organized after paddling along the Monongahela River downtown for the first time in summer 2011 and discovering a large amount of debris." ...


Wednesday 5 June

Today's news from the web

  • IWA comments on new HS2 Phase 1 proposals https:

    The HS2 High Speed Rail project announced two new consultations on 16th May. The Design Refinement Consultation document proposes 14 design ‘refinements’ to the Phase 1 route between London and Lichfield, and several of these affect the previously announced canal crossings. The IWA has analysed and commented on these documents, and a summary can be found on the Lichfield Branch's section of the IWA website. ...


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