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Accessible mooring project

Our waterways are for everyone, so we want to do what we can to ensure that more people than ever can enjoy them.

Two men in wheelchairs and Canal & River Trust colleagues gather round a new mooring bollard prototype which is taller than standard.

This is why, working in partnership with the Accessible Waterways Association, we’ve begun our accessible moorings project aimed at enhancing mooring spaces, especially for those who find our current mooring tricky to use. This is a ‘true to scale’ prototype of a new bollard. It’s designed to be easier to use, especially from a seated position on a boat. It’s easier to see because it’s larger and brighter than existing bollards, which is vital for those with poor eyesight and helps to avoid trip hazards, too.

It’s envisaged that they will be installed at designated accessible moorings spaces with clear signage, which will encourage others to leave spaces for those who need them.

Unlike short bollards or rings, the thin neck design allows ropes to be easily thrown from boats.

Illustration showing new accessible mooring bollards spaced at equal distances along the towpath.

Using the new accessible bollard

  • As the boat approaches the mooring, the boater chucks the rope over the bollard, and once it has slipped to the ground, they can pull the boat in, with the rope staying under the bottom cleat.
  • Once the boat is at the mooring side, the boater takes the rope up to the top of the bollard and hooks it around the diagonally opposite top cleat and then across to the other side in a figure of eight. The boater then finishes tying off with cleat hitches on the top cleats.
  • The rope to the boat, therefore, remains low to the ground, and when the boat tries to pull away from the mooring side, this helps to keep the knots tight. There is also very little force pulling the bollard over as the rope remains low.

Last Edited: 09 February 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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