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

Completed consultations

This page details our completed consultations up to August 2015.

For consultations after August 2015 please search through our document library.

Please get in touch if you'd like to find out about the progress of a particular consultation.

Previous, British Waterways, consultations can be found here.

Connecting Waterway Communities in the Southern Dales

Thank you to all those who took the time to contribute their thoughts and ideas to the consultation on the upcoming improvements works on the Leeds Liverpool Canal between Skipton and Bradley.

We received a broad range of comments and specific suggestions which we will now take on board and see if they can be incorporated into the scheme within the funding we have available.

We would like to highlight once again that the investment into the towpath is for everyone who uses and enjoys our much loved waterways. Whilst the towpath itself will be renewed through the project, at the same time some of the canal infrastructure along this length will also be improved – including parts of the canal bank. We are very grateful that the funding secured has enabled us to take this wider approach.

Some concerns were raised around the use of the towpath by cyclists both currently and after the improvement works complete. As we roll out our Share the Space, Drop your Pace campaign following a pilot in London, you can be assured that we will continue to emphasise the shared use environment of the canal. This follows on from the creation of the Better Towpaths for Everyone policy which takes a threefold approach to dealing with the rise in popularity of towpaths by a wide variety of users:

  • Better infrastructure
  • Better signs
  • Better behaviours

We continue to believe that education and information are the right approach - to appeal to common sense and mutual respect, and ensure that everyone is aware of and observes this. Specifically related to cycling on our towpaths you may like to take a look at our cycling FAQs.


Mooring Sales Consultation

Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts about the way we sell mooring berths. The following decisions have been made now we’ve considered all points of view:

  • We’ll offer a higher proportion of moorings at a fixed price
  • Retain auction sales for those in areas of higher demand (i.e. where competition exists)
  • Meet our fair trade and charity obligations

Download the feedback report

Marple Aqueduct

The consultation period for the safety fencing options and wider gateway improvements at Marple Aqueduct on the Peak Forest Canal is now closed.

We would like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to give us feedback. You can now see the consultation report and our response below.

Find out more information about the Revealing Oldknow's Legacy project.

Water Resources Strategy: Putting the water into waterways

Delivering a long term security of water supply to the waterway network will help us achieve our vision of living waterways that transform places and enrich lives. To enable this, we are developing a Water Resources Strategy to allow us to plan successfully for the future. The strategy sets out our aspirations for the next five years, but looks as far ahead as 2050 to understand the longer term pressures and challenges.

The consultation outlined the key issues that we wish to understand and manage better, and sought the views of all our customers and users to help influence the work we do in the future. It was the first time that we have openly presented these issues and we believe this embodies our values of being caring, open, local, involving and demonstrating excellence in our work.

The consultation period ran for eight weeks, from 9 September to 4 November 2014.

We have analysed all the responses to the consultation and have published a Statement of Responses.

We've also produced a Water Resources Strategy.

Sharing Towpaths


In March we began consulting nationally on our Sharing Towpaths project and asked people to provide feedback by completing a short survey.

A total of 2,148 people completed the online survey, we had 88 responses to our sharing towpaths email address and three workshops were held with stakeholders, local authorities, and partners.

A wide array of feedback representing diverse interests was received and this is summarised in the Sharing Towpaths Outputs report (saved here) 

In addition to the report we have also made available the individual comments and responses received to both our online survey and email address.

The responses are now shaping our new Towpath Code and policy which will hope will encourage considerate sharing of towpaths by everyone. The Towpath Code will guide the enjoyment of our 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales and is expected to be launched in early 2015.

The survey questions 

Final summary report


Sharing towpaths emailed comments

Sharing towpaths consultation q10

Sharing towpaths consultation q12

Sharing towpaths consultation q13

Sharing towpaths consultation q16

Sharing Towpaths consultation PDF responses

Update 13/02/2015 

We would like to thank all those individuals and organisations who took the time to respond to our consultation, we have now considered those responses and they have shaped our new national towpath policy, ‘Better Towpaths for Everyone’.

This new policy aims to embrace the diversity of users while encouraging considerate behaviour. Some of the key principles are

  • Principle of towpath use: Priority given to those moving the slowest and those using the waterway
  • Better infrastructure: Continue to improve the physical condition of towpaths  - £15m has already been spent over last two years
  • Better signs: Encouraging safer sharing such as at blind spots, pinch points and on busier towpath stretches, where there may also be moored boats
  • Better behaviour: ‘Share the Space, Drop your Pace’ campaign will be extended to all the Trust’s Waterways.

Download the National towpath policy


Central London Visitor Moorings Consultation

In June 2014, we published proposals for changes to Visitor Moorings in the central part of London between Kensal Green and Victoria Park to help ensure some popular locations can be shared more fairly by a wide range of boaters.

The changes contained in the proposed plan were consistent with national discussions on visitor moorings policy, and took account of feedback from the Paddington Basin & Little Venice Visitor Moorings consultation (February 2014), and a visitor moorings workshop held by the London Better Relationships Group (BRG) in January 2014. The proposed plan had been amended further following feedback from the BRG’s meeting on 29 May 2014.

Following a 3-week online survey which closed on July 7th, we have now gathered responses and feedback. We will be implementing the below changes, and these will take effect from September 1st 2014.

  • In Victoria Park, half the moorings at the site will remain at 14 days while half will change to 7 days, following feedback from boaters who felt reducing the whole length to 7 days was not necessary in the area.  With excellent tube connections at Mile End, the seven day stretch will benefit visiting boats who want a base to explore London.
  • In Broadway Market the Trust will create a new 7-day mooring site of approximately three berths.  The area has become a popular tourist destination, with a thriving bar and restaurant scene as well as the Saturday market, and is within easy reach of Shoreditch and the City.
  • In Little Venice the eastern half of the visitor moorings (those closest to the Trust’s Little Venice office) will be 7 days while the western half will be 14 days.
  • The Trust had also proposed reducing the stay times of two visitor mooring berths at Kensal Green, but the view from the Better Relationship Group and boaters was that the site wasn’t enough of a visitor hotspot to justify the changes.  Following this advice, the whole stretch will remain a 14-day visitor mooring.

You can download the proposals here, and read about the survey results and decisions made in more details here.


Temporary changes to mooring in Paddington Basin and Little Venice Pool, Summer 2014

We published proposals for temporary changes to mooring arrangements in Paddington Basin and the Little Venice Pool to meet diverse mooring needs ofngrowing numbers of boats.

The consultation closed on 3rd March 2014.    Download the consultation document

Download the consultation survey findings 


Leeds - Bradford towpath improvements

Following the summer announcement that Metro, Leeds City Council and Bradford Metropolitan District Council have secured £18.1m for a large scale project from the Department for Transport’s Cycle City Ambition Grant fund, Canal & River Trust will be embarking on a series of towpath and access enhancements as part of this wider scheme

The primary objective of the scheme is to create a safe, sustainable transport corridor for walkers and cyclists between the main conurbations of Leeds & Bradford, but there are many smaller elements of the project, one of which is the upgrading of the canal towpath and accesses between Shipley (Bradford) and Kirkstall (Leeds).

Exact boundaries of the scheme are Br. 207D Gallows Footbridge (Shipley) – Br.221a Kirkstall New Road Bridge (Kirkstall).

Total investment for the canal corridor, which is designated National Cycle Network Route (NCN66) is expected to be c£1.6m. The full programme has a delivery deadline of September 2015, but project partners have asked for completion of the towpath works by 30th June 2014 in time for the Tour de France commencing in Yorkshire on 5 July 2014 in order to showcase the commitment to cycling in the region. With this in mind, we wish to start work on site in early 2014.

The funding is a fantastic opportunity for the Canal & River Trust as currently there are no plans to undertake any towpath improvements along this stretch of waterway in the foreseeable future so this represents an investment. The works will deliver;

16km of towpath improvements, which will ensure the towpath can  be used on a year round basis in most weathers

  • Towpath widening, with an optimum width of 2m where possible
  • The retention of 500mm grass verge either side of the towpath
  • Improved accesses and Disabled Discrimination Act compliant barriers where appropriate
  • Towpath stabilisation works (where required)
  • Improved signage and waymarking

The canal towpath is a facility for all of the public, and is a multi-user route for walkers, cyclists, and anglers. As part of the development of the project, we will be seeking comments and suggestions to ensure that all of our user groups have the opportunity to be involved with the final design.

Take a look at the overview of the scheme



Council elections consultation

Although the Consultation is now closed, you can still review the paper.  We should like to take this opportunity to thank those who contributed.  We are now drawing together the responses, with recommendations going to Trustees and Council


Towpath Mooring Plan for The Kennet & Avon Canal west of Devizes

438 completed response questionnaires were received as well as 19 separate submissions to the consultation, including eight from local and national organisations with links to the canal.

The consultation questionnaire findings together with the detailed comments highlight a number of areas where boaters, organisations and other stakeholders suggest that changes to the proposals are needed.  Many of the commentators stressed that as they stand, the measures proposed would be unlikely to address all the stated aims.

The Trust will now give serious consideration to the findings and hold further discussions with the Waterway Partnership and Navigation Advisory Group to inform its final executive decision.

The questionnaire results can be downloaded here

The Towpath Mooring Plan consultation – feedback report can be downloaded here

This consultation ran from Friday 30 August to Friday 29 November 2013.

The Kennet & Avon Waterways Partnership Working Group ‘Towpath Mooring Plan for the Kennet & Avon Canal west of Devizes’ report can be viewed here.

The Towpath Mooring Plan Equalities Impact Assessment can be downloaded here.

The Canal & River Trust, and previously British Waterways, have worked extensively with local partners over many years to try to reach an agreed way forward to manage towpath mooring on the western section of Kennet & Avon (K&A) canal. Following extensive consultation we are now publishing (13 March) our plan for a 12 month local plan for towpath mooring on the Kennet & Avon Canal between Bath and Foxhangers.

Read the plan


Reforming Business Boat Licensing

In June 2013, the Business Boating team consulted with all business licence holders and organisations representing different types of traders on a set of proposals to reform the way in which business licences are issued and priced. The consultation ran for a six week period between 19 June and 31 July.  A series of supplementary papers detailing elements of the proposals, such as the draft terms and conditions and a paper outlining a new set of qualifying criteria for community boat licences, was available on request.

The consultation paper was accompanied by a response form that people were encouraged to complete and return. In the event, many respondents chose to send emails or write letters instead and some did both. In addition, we held a meeting with the holiday hire sector, many of whom also operate day hire boats, to discuss their concerns.

All of the responses have been examined in detail and used to revise and amend the proposals where we felt this was justified. Please follow the links below to read the report in full and the associated press release.


Islington Visitor Moorings

In September 2013, after receiving the views and comments from local residents, Islington Council and London Boaters, shared through a joint working group, we put forward proposals to primarily reduce incidences of noise and smoke pollution at the Islington Visitor Moorings.

Additionally, we wanted the proposals to:

  • raise awareness of environmental pollution issues
  • provide support and information about better environmental performance
  • provide a welcoming environment to visiting boats
  • promote neighbourly behaviour and improve partnership working between boaters, residents, the Council and the Trust. 

The response to the proposals shows that views are polarised. While there is support for the principle of improving the management of the moorings, there is no consensus on how far any new measures should go. Local residents want tough restrictions which are unacceptable to boaters.  Boaters are prepared to accept some restrictions, but do not accept that they need to be as draconian as residents request.    

Having weighed the arguments from both sides very thoroughly, we are focussing on measures that have the greatest chance of achieving two key objectives:

  • Reduction in nuisance noise and smoke events at the visitor moorings.
  • Greater turnover of boats visiting the moorings – more genuine visitors making use of the moorings.

With the above in mind, we have developed a management plan which we will now be implementing. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken the time to contribute to this consultation. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Sorwar Ahmed, boater liaison manager (London).

View the press release announcing the management plan.


South East Visitor Mooring Consultation

After extensive engagement with boaters the Trust is pleased to publish its final report on this public consultation. Although it only related to 22 out of 130 or so visitor mooring sites across the south east it’s been a challenging, yet ultimately rewarding, few months as Jeff Whyatt, Senior Waterway Manager, explains:

“Over the last few years, one of the most consistent complaints made to me has been about congestion at visitor moorings. Coupled with mooring rules that haven’t been reviewed in a long time and a 40% increase in the last 10 years or so in boat numbers to 35,000, it felt like the right moment to update the rules at the most popular sites.

“It was perfectly clear that not all boaters agreed with our proposals. That said, we did manage to get boaters with varying perspectives around a table and discuss the reasons why we’re doing this and also the detailed plans for each site. A big thank you to all those who responded and especially to those who disagreed with us but were willing to give up their own time to help us to find better solutions.”

Jeff comments: “We’ve listened to the feedback and as a result we’re confirming changes at only 8 of the 22 sites. We’ve introduced seasonal differences and we’ve altered the stay limits and lengths at some of the sites. The passion, knowledge and constructive help boaters have given is certainly something we want to continue to draw on as we now start to apply the changes. All in all, we’re hopeful that the changes result in fairer sharing of the visitor moorings enabling more boaters to enjoy the wonderful canals of the south east.”

The report, and associated maps, found below focus on the changes that will be made this year to eight mooring sites. In summary, the key points are:

  • Relax restrictions in winter (November 1 to the day before Good Friday), keeping only those in obvious honeypot spots (e.g.      outside the museum at Stoke Bruerne) – i.e. time limits revert to the default 14 days.
  • At each of the eight visitor mooring sites there will be a limit to the number of days you can moor in any one calendar month. This limit varies from site to site and will be clearly signposted and prominent in associated leaflets.  The report explains why we stuck to our original formula for site return rules in the face of alternative suggestions.
  • You can moor free of charge for the period specified, but after this, a daily charge of £25 will apply
  • Hire boats are subject to the ‘per visit’ stay limit (2 days etc.) but not the cumulative ‘days per month’ allowance. The report explains why.
  • Roving traders may warrant more generous stay limits but the Trust’s boating trade team will take more time to consider this and discuss with roving traders.
  • To better inform the Trust’s decisions at the other 14 sites, where no changes are being made this year, it will increase monitoring and review the results at the end of the summer and revise plans accordingly. The Trust wants to carry out this review with the help of local boaters and the Navigation Advisory Group.

Consultation report and associated maps

The original consultation documents can be found below:


Kensal Town Towpath Public Consultation

A consultation to gather feedback on proposed towpath improvements between Great Western Road and Gasworks Dock, near the Sainsbury’s store at Kensal Rise, took place at the start of 2013.

This consultation has now closed and a final report will be available soon. In the meantime please contact dick.vincent@canalrivertrust.org.uk if you have any questions about the project.


Consultation on changes to Houseboat Certificate Terms & Conditions - Report published

Following a very long period of consultation and reflection on this matter, we have decided to establish a register for the relatively small number of customers with successively assignable Canal & River Trust long term mooring permits. 

The norm is that mooring permits are not assignable on sale of the boat, but there is history of having happened and of customers being worried about whether they will have a continued right to assign.  This is important to people who purchased their boat for more than it was worth because it had a BW mooring permit which they understood they would be able to renew.  Substantial premiums are understood to have been paid in some cases.  The new register will confirm once and for all who has a successive right to assign their mooring in future and provide confidence to the boat owners concerned.  In establishing the register, it is the Trust’s objective to ensure that regardless of the circumstances surrounding the purchase of the boat, the current permit holder will not lose out.

An assignability question arises for holders of Houseboat Certificates (which owners houseboats on CRT directly managed moorings may take as an alternative to the standard boat licence) and for permit holders at a small number of central London sites operated by Canal & River Trust. The Trust’s directly managed moorings team headed by Jenny Whitehall will consult individually with the small number of customers affected by this about their assignment status before confirming the register. 

The details of this somewhat complicated subject are set out in the consultation report published below along with the original consultation documents.


Last date edited: 26 July 2016