We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

London Mooring Strategy

The Canal & River Trust is setting out its plans to develop a London Mooring Strategy to address the unique challenges and opportunities of boating in the Capital.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Boating in London has become more challenging as boat numbers on London’s waterways continue to grow. This has led to pressure on moorings, facilities and infrastructure. It can be hard to find space at towpath moorings in the most popular areas while the supply of long-term moorings isn’t enough to meet demand.

Over the past few years the Trust has been working with boaters and other stakeholders on solving the problem. While a number of trials have been carried out and there have been some positive changes, for example the creation of new long-term moorings and bookable moorings, it is clear that a plan of action that covers all aspects of London moorings, developed with waterway users, is necessary to make a significant difference.

A London Mooring Strategy will allow the Trust to take a look at how to manage these issues, as well as make the most of opportunities that will help the charity maintain the waterways for the benefit of boaters and other users.

The London Mooring Strategy would aim:

  • For better provision and management of a range of facilities and mooring types in London
  • To manage the high number of boats in London and to mitigate the environmental impacts on the waterways and neighbours
  • To help ensure fair sharing of water space
  • To enable a wider range of boaters to visit and navigate in London
  • To protect existing, and generate additional, income to maintain the waterways in London
  • To support a London waterway destination and tourism strategy
  • To ensure the mooring strategy contributes to the Trust’s aim that London’s waterways help to transform neighbourhoods and enrich people’s lives

Matthew Symonds, boating strategy and engagement manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “London’s waterways are some of the busiest in the country and we need to manage the finite space effectively. We need to face the challenges head on, as well as taking advantage of the opportunity to develop a really world-class waterspace that people will be able to visit and enjoy. We’ll be working closely with those who use the Capital’s canals and rivers to make sure we hear everyone’s views and make well-informed decisions. An end vision statement sets out what the Strategy aims to achieve under each of its key themes."

The Trust has been gathering information from various groups, including its Navigation Advisory Group, the London Waterway Partnership, national boating organisations and other key stakeholders. A programme of workshops to engage customers and stakeholders was launched on 24 May 2016 at the Holiday Inn Camden Lock, where we gave a presentation about the strategy. We have produced a summary report and full workshop report of the discussions at the event. Further engagement is planned over the summer. If you'd like to join the stakeholder mailing list and get involved, please email enquiries.london@canalrivertrust.org.uk

As part of the strategy we are planning to trial pre-bookable short-stay mooring spots that will let boats reserve a place to moor, and want to gauge interest in this. Providing a service that will offer the chance to reserve a mooring berth could save boaters arriving in the capital from being disappointed. We asked boaters with an interest to complete this survey between Friday 1 July and Friday 26 August. The survey has now closed and we have produced a summary of the results. Following the survey, we are now planning a revised pre-bookable mooring trial at the existing Rembrandt Gardens site in Little Venice, to begin later in the year, so look out for more details soon. 

Last date edited: 7 September 2016