The charity making life better by water

Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and River Severn Navigation summer 2023 changes

We're proposing to make temporary changes to the summer 2023 operating hours on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and River Severn Navigation.

The Trust is affected significantly by the current economic impact of inflation and high energy costs at a time when our income from the Government is not increasing with inflation. We recognise these temporary changes will impact you, our customers, so we are asking for your views on proposals for this season.

Saul Junction, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal

Why are we looking at making changes?

In order to provide the best service we can with our resources, we are seeking feedback from boaters about two options for reduced availability of the swing bridges on the canal in 2023. With the support of further volunteers, we plan to resume a full seven-day service in due course.

What are we proposing?

Option 1:

  • The canal would be open from 8am to 6pm
  • A full canal closure for one day per week on either Tuesday or Wednesday
  • Sellars Bridge to operate on a timed service with volunteer support - this means that the bridge will open at set times during the day, for example 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm

Option 2:

  • The canal would be open from 8am to 6pm
  • There would be a half canal closure on alternating days between Monday and Thursday. For example:
    Monday - Splatt to Purton Closed
    Tuesday - Llanthony to Parkend Closed
    Wednesday - Splatt to Purton Closed
    Thursday - Llanthony to Parkend Closed
  • Normal operating hours between Friday and Sunday
  • Sellars Bridge to operate on a timed service with volunteer support - this means that the bridge will open at set times during the day, for example 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm

River Severn Navigation:

  • The river would be open from 8am to 6pm
  • The locks will remain open seven days a week, however, Bevere and Holt will operate on a timed service.

These changes are a temporary measure while we continue to recruit additional volunteer support. If you feel passionately about the waterways, click the link below and help us deliver more bridge and lock open hours.

Who will be affected by the changes, and how are we helping them?

These changes will affect anyone who wishes to cruise on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and River Severn.

If you are a commercial operator, and we haven't already spoken to you, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss how we can best support you.

Timings and feedback

We have been hosting in person conversations with boaters, boating businesses, boating organisations and various other stakeholders. We are now seeking wider email feedback on these proposed options until 15 March. We will then review the feedback and make a decision on the option that we will roll out from 1st April 2023. When we have updates we will share them here and through other Trust channels.

We'd welcome your feedback on our proposals:

  1. Which option would have the least impact on the way that you use our waterways?
  2. Do you have any further thoughts or feedback on opening times?
  3. Do you have any ideas or suggestions on operational changes which would suit you more?
  4. If you are a commercial operator, please include your operating days & times so that we can confirm how we will support your business during this time.

Please send your responses with the subject line 'Gloucester & Sharpness feedback' via email to [email protected]

What next?

We will provide an update here of the outcome and advise all respondents directly of the proposed arrangements for the season.

Last Edited: 03 March 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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