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Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
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Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
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Something for everyone
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Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
Why we think canals are better with Friends
Become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust today and you’ll open yourself up to new experiences and endless opportunities.
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
We are considering plans to change the operation of our bridges on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal from keeper-operated to remote-controlled.
Having reviewed the responses from our public consultation in 2015, we decided to extend the trial operation at Sandfield Bridge before making a decision.
The purpose of the trial, which will run over summer 2016, is to better investigate and test some of the issues, concerns and suggestions made, develop bridge opening protocols and monitor the impact on canal and road traffic.
We established the Sandfield Bridge Advisory Group which includes local councillors, boaters, highways representatives and our operational staff. The group is working closely together and members will help us with the system’s set-up and testing. Later they will review the trial outcomes with us.
Issues discussed so far include: Gloucestershire County Council Highways’ proposals for traffic control measures; CCTV to enable views 30-40m of road and canal approaches; control centre located at Fretherne Bridge; protocols for canal and road traffic; trial details. You can read the notes of the advisory group’s meetings for more information:
Mid April – mid May
We installed the new system, testing and refining it with advisory group members and invited boaters. The bridge-keeper uses the app to open the bridge.
Mid May - mid June
The app was given to other invited boaters. As expected we found further issues and refinements as boater testing continued.
The bridge continues to be operated by the keeper for the majority of boaters who will not have the app. Boaters can also phone the keeper or use VHF.
The advisory group met to review results to date and consider any revisions needed to the system and operating protocols.
Date tbc depending on progress
The app will be made more generally available to boaters who want it. The bridge will continue to be operated by the keeper for boaters who do not have the app.
The trial will end and the advisory group will meet to review outcomes and consider key points for our report to directors.
If the trial is satisfactory and the case can be made to extend remote-controlled operation to the other bridges identified (i.e. it is technically viable, demonstrates necessary savings and is endorsed by stake-holders) the project team will request approval and finance from the executive committee in autumn 2016 and then from trustees.
A summary of the issues, along with our careful consideration, is explained in our detailed report of the public consultation. For reference you can download our summary leaflet and our presentation used in the earlier consultation although please be aware that they are now outdated.
Last date edited: 15 June 2017