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London mooring strategy

We've developed a London Mooring Strategy to look at the unique challenges and opportunities of boating in the capital.

Infographic of London Mooring Strategy

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.

We've published a London mooring strategy setting out how we'll manage mooring space on the Trust's waters in the London area.

The London mooring strategy consultation closed on 18 January 2018. We'd like to thank the 1200+ people who let us know their thoughts.

You can read more about some of the plans we'll be carrying out in 2018-19 here.

Consultation event

We held a consultation event at the London Canal Museum on Tuesday 28 November 2017. You can listen to a podcast of this event prepared by boater Joel Sanders here.

How the London mooring strategy has been developed

Over the past few years we've 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's 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 us 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 aims:

  • 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, our boating strategy and engagement manager, 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. An end vision statement sets out what the strategy aims to achieve under each of its key themes."

We have gathered 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've produced a summary report and full workshop report of the discussions at the event.

As part of the strategy we ran a trial of pre-bookable short-stay mooring spots that let boaters reserve a place to moor in central London. To gauge demand for this we surveyed boaters with an interest between Friday 1 July and Friday 26 August 2016. We've produced a summary of the results. We've now launched an online pre-bookable mooring trial at the existing Rembrandt Gardens site in Little Venice, for more details on how to book can be found on the pre-book visitor moorings in London webpage.

As part of the London mooring strategy engagement we held an event on 11 November for London Boroughs and councils within the London Waterway area. A presentation was given about the London waterways including some of the opportunities and challenges that the London Mooring Strategy will help to address.

In September 2016 we ran a survey to help better understand ‘who's on London's boats'. The summary report from the survey is now published. The findings have been used alongside other information and input from stakeholders to help inform the London mooring strategy.


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Last Edited: 31 January 2022

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