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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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Download your free guides
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Find a walk near you
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Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
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
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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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
Download the feedback report
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.
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.
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
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
Download the National towpath policy
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.
You can download the proposals here, and read about the survey results and decisions made in more details here.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
Consultation report and associated maps
The original consultation documents can be found below:
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 email@example.com if you have any questions about the project.
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