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Monday 18 October

Today's news from the web

  • Navigation route to be restored after deal worcesternews.co.uk

    Holidaymakers will be able to enjoy a 21-mile cruising ring around Worcestershire’s waterways after a missing piece of land needed for the project was finally secured. Acquiring the missing link will enable workers to reconnect the Barge and Junction canals in Droitwich, a navigation route that was officially abandoned in 1939. ...


Saturday 16 October

Today's news from the web

  • Letters: Opportunities in wake of quango cull guardian.co.uk

    Letter from BW Chairman Robin Evans in The Guardian: I find myself in the unusual position of being the head of a public body that has welcomed – and indeed called for – its own abolition. ...


Thursday 14 October

British Waterways to be replaced by a new charity - official (updated)

The long-awaited announcement has just been published by British Waterways and the Government. BW - set up in its current form in 1962, and extant in one form or another since 1948 - is to be replaced with a new charity independent of Government control.

BW and the Government are describing it as "a national trust for the waterways". According to waterways minister Richard Benyon: "The engagement of local communities and interest groups will ensure the success of this transfer to civil society, building on the good work of British Waterways and countless waterways enthusiasts. It's a great example of Government giving power back to the people."

Crucially, this will not be the British Waterways Charity. Rather, the announcement is unambiguous that "British Waterways will be replaced by a new civil society body". Work is underway on setting out how this body will work.

Other key features from the announcement are:
  • No decision yet on whether the Environment Agency's navigations (Thames, Great Ouse, Nene, Medway) will be included; the Government says it will "further explore this"
  • New body "to be up and running by April 2012"
  • A "guaranteed long-term contract" with Government to support the upkeep of the waterways (but no word as yet as to how much less than the current grant this will be)
  • The new waterway charity gets to keep BW's property ("a charity-locked property endowment")
  • Decisions ongoing about the Scottish waterways

Update: Waterscape has published a list of Frequently Asked Questions. These are fairly basic, and won't tell anyone who's been following the story anything new. Interestingly, it does confirm the proposed structure which WW reported from a leaked internal BW document over the summer:

A new council of representatives will be established – bringing in a range of interests such as boaters, anglers, heritage, environment, local authorities etc – with oversight over a Board of Trustees with the responsibility for the running of the organisation and for the appointment and oversight of directors. At a local area, waterway partnerships will be set up to give local people and groups a greater role in the running of waterways.

IWA has welcomed the announcement. BW chairman Tony Hales has published an open letter on the subject.

Update 3.30pm: The trade unions representing BW staff continue their opposition to the proposals. Unite spokesman Julia Long said:

We have real fears that the vital maintenance work that is needed on the network will be forced to rely on the efforts of volunteers to fill gaps left by qualified engineers, if enough funding is not found. This very disturbing news increases the level of flood risk to the homes, offices and buildings along the banks of this network. Unite therefore calls for the government to provide some guarantees that there will not be a wholesale cull of the workforce and that there will be sufficient employed, skilled staff to prevent the potential devastation which would be caused if, for example, just one of the banks gave way.

Richard Fairhurst  | 11.09am | add a comment


Today's news from the web

  • Men pushed in Worcester canal in assaults bbc.co.uk

    Two people had to swim to safety after being pushed into a canal by a gang of three men in separate attacks. The gang first approached a man who was walking along a towpath that leads underneath Rainbow Hill, Lowesmoor, Worcester, on Sunday evening. In the second incident the three assaulted a man before pushing him into the canal. Two of the offenders were pulled in with him....

  • New Thames port 'will generate £3.2bn a year' thisislondon.co.uk

    More than 36,000 new jobs are set to be created at the new London Gateway deep-sea port and logistics park on the bank of the Thames in Thurrock, Essex, which a report published today forecasts will bring £3.2 billion into the UK economy every year by its completion in 2014....

  • Construction starts on River Lee sewer trenchlessinternational.com

    Ground has been broken on the Lee Tunnel, a new four mile sewer which will prevent 16 million tonnes of sewage overflowing into the River Lee, located in the UK, each year. ... The £635 million tunnel will take discharges from London’s largest combined sewer overflow at Abbey Mills in Stratford, east London, for treatment at Beckton sewage works, which is being expanded so it can deal with the additional flows. Construction started on one of four shafts, which will be up to 75 m deep. The Lee Tunnel ... will be the deepest tunnel ever constructed in London. ...

  • Thousands watch what may be the last ship launched on the Clyde politics.caledonianmercury.com

    More than 10,000 people lined the banks of the Clyde on Monday afternoon to witness what many expect to be the last launch of a ship into this most famous of shipbuilding waterways. The Duncan, the sixth and final Type 45 anti-air warfare destroyer to be built on the Clyde, eased down the tallow-coated slipway just before four o’clock, accompanied by the usual cloud of rust dust billowing up from the drag chains. ...

  • Work is due to start on new £2.5m boathouse worcesternews.co.uk

    The demolition of an old boathouse to make way for a new £2.5 million structure fronting the river Severn in Worcester is due to start next month. There has been a slight delay in getting the King’s School Worcester boathouse project off the ground, due to a “complex tendering process”. ...


Wednesday 13 October

WW to organise the Crick Boat Show


We're delighted to announce that Waterways World will be organising next year's Crick Boat Show.

The 2011 event will, as ever, take place on the May Bank Holiday weekend (28th-30th May) at Crick Marina on the Grand Union Canal.

WW's publisher Peter Johns explains: "We are really pleased to be associated with the Crick Boat Show. The event has been a great success for many years and we want to build upon that success to make it an even bigger stage for boaters, aspiring boaters and the many waterways related businesses who exhibit at the Show. As the country’s longest established and best selling inland waterways magazine we believe that there is untapped potential which will allow us to develop the Show to make it a real showcase for the inland waterways."

Simon Salem, marketing director at British Waterways, added: "The magazine’s publishers have a good track record of organising and managing shows which, together with their industry knowledge and involvement, makes them an ideal partner to take the Crick Boat Show forward."

The exhibitor pack for the 2011 Show will be available from November 2010 and will be sent automatically to those who exhibited at the 2010 Show. Exhibitor telephone enquiries should be made to Ian Sharpe at Waterways World, at ian.sharpe@wwonline.co.uk or on 01283 742977.

Richard Fairhurst  | 11.23am | add a comment


Today's news from the web

  • River of money flows to Thames as it wins global conservation prize guardian.co.uk

    In the 1950s it was declared biologically dead – a heavily polluted river that was a far cry from the days when it was admired by William Wordsworth, Claude Monet and the Three Men in a Boat of Jerome K Jerome's book. Now the Thames and its tributaries teem with 125 fish species including salmon, trout, sole and bass. The resurgence was rewarded yesterday when the river was given a top global conservation prize for its dramatic recovery. The International Thiess river prize is awarded annually in Australia and comes with prize money of A$350,000 (£218,000). ...

  • Legal action over Caledonian Canal water cascade pressandjournal.co.uk

    The Caledonian Canal’s operators are at the centre of legal action over noise levels at the Muirtown Basin in Inverness. Residents who live next to the picturesque waterway claim the noise of the water cascading over the locks is so loud it is keeping them awake at night. Tests by Highland Council environmental health officials confirm that noise readings at homes next to the canal are at an unacceptable level. Now the council is taking legal action against British Waterways Scotland. ...


Tuesday 12 October

Today's news from the web

  • EU commissioner calls for 'more awareness' of inland waterways theparliament.com

    Eu transport commissioner Siim Kallas has called for more attention to be given at EU and national level to the "added value" of Europe’s inland waterways. Speaking in parliament, the Estonian official said the potential economic benefit of this type of transport was often overlooked. He said the potential of Europe's massive network of inland waterways was yet to be "fully exploited", adding, "It is time to make the added value of inland navigation more visible."...

  • High tides leaves Chiswick Mall accessible only by boat chiswickw4.com

    Louise Baker's images below of Chiswick Mall were taken on Sunday 10th October when the road was only accessible via boat. ...

  • K&A Canal Trust needs media manager kacanaltimes.blogspot.com

    Do you want to "navigate the sometimes murky and turbulent waters of news and information management in a high profile and diverse organisation concerned with history, conservation, leisure activities"? The K&A Canal Trust is looking for an unpaid volunteer Public Relations professional to manage publicity for both the Trust and the Canal. ...

  • Revised 500-berth canal marina plan looking set to win approval yorkshirepost.co.uk

    Plans for a 500-berth marina on a canal in South Yorkshire are set to win approval from planners tomorrow after changes were made to the scheme to make it more wildlife-friendly. Developers Waystone Ltd submitted plans to Doncaster Council several months ago for a marina project on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal at Stainforth, north-east of the town centre....


Monday 11 October

Today's news from the web

  • Great Ouse Hermitage lock keeper retires after nearly 20 years visitanglianwaterways.co.uk

    After 19.5 years service, as the Hermitage Lock Keeper, Les Griggs has retired from the Environment Agency....

  • British Waterways puts Kennet & Avon Canal lock cottage up for sale kacanaltimes.blogspot.com

    British Waterways is selling Cobblers Lock House near Hungerford by auction. The cottage is alongside Cobblers lock on the K&A Canal and on the edge of Hungerford Marsh Nature Reserve....

  • Seamstresses take to the Thames bucksfreepress.co.uk

    The seven seas met the seven seamstresses as a group of Marlow-based women turned the River Thames into a sewing haven. Judy, Val, Tessa, Christine, Sarah Vanessa and Joy, from Lady Sew and Sew welcomed people on board the Maid of Fibre for an insight into the world of wool. The 60-foot narrow boat - dubbed a sanctuary for knitters - provides a unique sea-borne insight into world-wide yarns. ...


Friday 8 October

Today's news from the web

  • Thames 'super sewer' plans unveiled bbc.co.uk

    Detailed plans for a £3.6bn tunnel to stop raw sewage polluting the River Thames have been unveiled. The 20-mile (32km) Thames Tunnel would run from west to east London, broadly following the route of the river, collecting sewage discharge triggered by rainfall. ...

  • Teddington lifeboat crew rescue family trapped by high tide yourlocalguardian.co.uk

    The crew from Teddington lifeboat station rescued two adults and two children from a boat trapped at Teddington Weir. The four, including youngsters aged 10 and 11, got stuck after fishing on the River Thames during high tide and had to call for help. A three man crew – Helmsman Richard Hogg, Helmsman Andrew Butterfield and Crewman Angus Prentice – got the four off the boat and to safety, during the incident last month. ...


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