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Monday 9 April

Today's news from the web

  • Cleared canal offers alternative commute bbc.co.uk

    A commuter has started paddling to his office by kayak after the land-locked stretch of canal near his home in Gloucestershire was cleared of trees. Tom Hards ditched his bus commute in December and now paddles three miles from Stroud to his job in Stonehouse. The last section of the 6-mile (9km) Stroudwater Navigation was cleared by volunteers just after Christmas....

  • Concerns over Forth & Clyde Canal future as repair bills mount up scotsman.com

    Two major Scottish canals re-opened after decades of dereliction at a cost of £80 million could revert to a “stagnant ditch” because of lack of maintenance, boaters fear. Three bridges that open to let boats through are out of action on the Forth & Clyde Canal because of safety concerns. Scottish Canals has admitted it has insufficient funds to fully repair them. ...

Wednesday 28 March

Today's news from the web

  • Stoke school's new library boat stokesentinel.co.uk

    Hundreds of children are set to embark on reading adventures after a unique library boat docked at their primary school. The 50ft narrow boat made its 'maiden voyage' on 6th March when it arrived at The Crescent Academy, in Meir, on the back of a lorry and was lifted into its new ‘mooring’ – a sunken plot of land overlooking pupils’ classrooms....

  • Middlewich canal collapse brought to life through 3D technology middlewichguardian.co.uk

    A drone user has stitched together a 3D rendering of last week's dramatic canal embankment collapse. The breach, along the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union Canal, has caused an estimated £2 million to £3 million worth of damage. John Bancroft, who sent the stunning images shown above to the Guardian, has used a drone and Drone Deploy software to provide a three-dimensional picture of the damage....

Monday 26 March

Today's news from the web

  • Canal breach will not impact Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival says council middlewichguardian.co.uk

    Middlewich Town Council is assisting in the response to a huge canal breach and says preparations for the upcoming FAB Festival will not be affected. Town clerk Jonathan Williams says the breach, on the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union Canal, is being handled positively and professional by the Canal and River Trust. He said: "Middlewich Town Council is working closely with the Canal and River Trust to ensure that the Trust’s expertise and the Council’s local knowledge and contacts combine to find solutions and a way forward following the breach on the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union....

Tuesday 30 January

No transfer of EA waterways to CRT

The transfer of Environment Agency waterways to Canal & River Trust control will not now take place, at least for the foreseeable future. 

In a letter to CRT in January, the Department for Food, Agriculture & Rural Affairs said it was “not minded” to go ahead with the transfer, after terms could not be agreed on the limits of control and financing. 

The proposal for CRT to take on navigational responsibility of the Thames, the Anglian rivers and some other waterways has been under discussion ever since the trust was launched in 2012.

Recently talks have accelerated, and there was hope an agreement would be made this year. IWA sources said the Environment Agency was thought to be in favour of handing over its navigational responsibilities to CRT. 

But Defra seemed sceptical, with a spokesperson announcing: “The Canal & River Trust’s outline proposal has not matched our ambitions in two key areas - value for public money and efficient management of the waterways." 

However, he added that talks have not been broken off. 

“The Government remains open to a revised proposal from CRT, and the Environment Minister, Thérèse Coffey, has offered a further meeting with the Trust,” the statement concluded. 
Defra strongly denied a rumour we had earlier reported, that one reason for the breakdown was that it “has its hands full with Brexit”. 

CRT said it was disappointed, with a trust spokesman saying: “We remain convinced that the transfer would be in the wider public interest. It would deliver the real essence of value for taxpayers, and benefits for the users of these waterways while securing the long-term future of the navigations themselves.”

 The Inland Waterways Association also echoed CRT’s sentiments. “We are extremely disappointed to hear from the Environment Agency that Defra has been unable to agree CRT’s recent proposal for taking over the navigations run by EA. 

"IWA believes that a transfer of EA navigations remains the best way to ensure the future of these waterways with the minimum impact on the public purse.”

The River Thames Society, for its part, welcomed the decision. It has argued against the transfer of control and for the retention of one management body for the non-tidal Thames. 

RIver Thames Society chairman Peter Finch said, “We very much hope the long period of uncertainty is finally over, that all resources can now be devoted to river maintenance and improvement, while we continue to press for increased core funding.”

A CRT source said talks continue with Surrey and Hampshire County councils on its proposed takeover of the Basingstoke Canal, the next most likely candidate for transfer.

Bobby Cowling  | 4.00pm | add a comment

Thursday 4 January

Today's news from the web

Thursday 21 December

Today's news from the web

  • CRT in middle of smoke row between London boaters and local residents hackneygazette.co.uk

    Boater Matthew Nicholls is robustly defending a claim that smoke from barges on the River Lea is getting up neighbours’ noses. “It’s no good persecuting us because we are trying to live on our boats. Why don’t you go out on the streets and persecute all the diesel trucks?” Erika Jones says she expected such a response, which is she’s got in touch with the Canal and River Trust and Hackney Council’s pollution team. Her complaint is about the fumes wafting into her flat in Watermint Quay, Stamford Hill, from the vessels moored outside....

Wednesday 29 November

Today's news from the web

  • £9.8M bid could transform Stroudwater canal into significant visitor attraction stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk

    This week a £9.8 million bid to restore the four miles of canal between Storehouse and Saul Junction will be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) from a joint partnership led by SDC. The lottery bid is a joint proposal from Stroud District Council and including the Cotswold Canals Trust, Stroudwater Navigation Archive Charity and the Stroud Valleys Canal Company. Jim White, chair of the Cotswold Canals Trust said: “This is a strong bid resulting from a lot of hard work....

  • Canal volunteers secure new base for Tewitfield restoration thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk

    Volunteers who are helping to restore a historic flight of locks on the Lancaster Canal have a new base. Canal enthusiast Colin Ogden has set up the Northern Reaches Restoration Community Interest Company to carry out work on Tewitfield Locks, near Carnforth. The project is being supported by the Canal and River Trust. The new HQ, at Tewitfield Methodist Chapel, has been described as "a fantastic opportunity" by Mr Ogden. He said it would give volunteers somewhere to securely store equipment and arrange fundraising events. Future plans include coffee mornings, photographic exhibits, and a skills centre for the volunteer-led organisation....

Monday 20 November

Today's news from the web

  • North Walsham and Dilham canal to be refilled with water bbc.co.uk

    A 19th Century waterway that is thought to have been dry for more than half a century is to be refilled with water. The North Walsham and Dilham canal is Norfolk's only sailing canal with locks. It was originally nearly nine miles (14.5km) long but became neglected after falling out of commercial use in the 1930s. Restoration work by volunteers has seen one mile (1.6km) mile of the canal opened for navigation. A three-quarter mile section of the privately-owned canal is soon to be refilled with water....

Tuesday 31 October

Today's news from the web

  • London Chamber of Commerce calls on Thames to be a congestion-easing highway londonchamber.co.uk

    The Mayor should establish a temporary River Commission to explore how to make better use of the River Thames a leading business group said today. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said such a body could have a brief to look at greater moving of freight and construction material by river thereby helping to ease congestion on the capital’s roads. The call was made as part of LCCI’s response to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy which proposes to move more freight off London’s streets and onto the River Thames. ...

  • Former Falmouth and Camborne MP Candy Atherton has died suddenly aged 62 - cornwalllive.com

    Candy Atherton, former MP and parliamentary adviser to the IWA during the transition from British Waterways to the Canal & River Trust, has died suddenly overnight at the age of 62....

Thursday 26 October

Today's news from the web

  • US army works on Chicago canal restoration mywebtimes.com

    The four soldiers on a reconnaissance mission in Ottawa on Monday and Tuesday may be back a couple more times early next year. Then, in July, equipped with bulldozers, excavators, skid loaders and dump trucks, two dozen Army reservists from Illinois and Marine reservists from Michigan will arrive. Their mission will be to whip a six-block section of the dry Illinois & Michigan Canal between Guion Street west to Walnut Street into shape to once again hold water. ...

Tuesday 12 September

Today's news from the web

  • Dane returns to Middleport Pottery following £150,000 renovation project stokesentinel.co.uk

    Dane, one of Britain’s last remaining wooden built narrow boats, has come ‘home’ to Middleport Pottery following a £150,000 restoration. The boat was unveiled on Saturday as the attraction opened its doors as part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme....

  • A scenic stroll along Regent's Canal - Little Venice to Camden Lock kcwtoday.co.uk

    In a city of flux, London’s waterways provide a sense of uniquely meandering tranquility to its often overworked inhabitants. Those of us lucky enough to work or live near a canal will not need reminding of their shimmering charms, and sitting in quiet contemplation while a bevy of swans glide serenely past is an often overlooked facet of city dwelling....

Tuesday 1 August

Today's news from the web

  • Lancaster Canal is focus of world’s first canal comic theboltonnews.co.uk

    A 27-mile stretch of waterway between Kendal and Lancaster is to be the focus for the world’s first canal comic book. The 50-page publication called ‘The Lanky’ will capture the people and places along the Lancaster Canal and feature well-known landmarks along the route. Thanks to a £15,000 grant from Arts Council England National Lottery, the Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership (LCRP) has been able to commission talented Manchester artist Oliver East to bring a fresh interpretation of the canal....

Monday 31 July

Today's news from the web

  • Sea Otter brings road traffic to a standstill outside Inverness pressandjournal.co.uk

    A boat brought traffic to a standstill on the north’s busiest road yesterday after careering off its trailer and crashing through the central reservation. Police were called to the unusual accident involving a Sea Otter canal boat on the A9 Perth to Inverness road, near Daviot, at about 1.18pm yesterday. A holidaymaker from the Oxford area had been towing the vessel north on his way to enjoy a trip on the famous Caledonian Canal....

Friday 14 July

Today's news from the web

  • Tooley’s Boatyard welcomes milestone narrow boat banburyguardian.co.uk

    Banbury’s historic Tooley’s Boatyard, part of Banbury Museum in Castle Quay, is celebrating this week as it welcomes the 1,500th boat to pass through the dry dock since Matthew Armitage saved it from potential closure 15 years ago....

Wednesday 12 July

Today's news from the web

  • Madagascar: Where France's maritime history sails on bbc.co.uk

    Madagascar's current master shipbuilders can all trace their skills back to just one family who arrived on the African island more than 150 years ago. In the 19th Century, schooners were a familiar sight along France's northern coast, their majestic sails fluttering in the wind. Nowadays, they have been replaced by boats which are far faster, more efficient - and less romantic. But there is still a corner of the world where a new generation of carpenters is keeping old maritime traditions alive by crafting these vessels to original standards. The mastery shown by carpenters working in the town of Belo-sur-mer on Madagascar's west coast is respected around the world - at least one of their beautifully crafted schooners has been sent to collectors in France in recent years....

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