This winter, because of careful management of costs and success in earning income, we will spend an extra £2 million on the waterways where it counts the most. The year’s spend on major works and general maintenance and repairs will now be over £80 million in total.
The additional money will be spent on a number of major projects this winter. Over half a million pounds more will be spent on additional spot-dredging, tackling those specific locations where feedback has indicated that dredging is most urgently needed to improve navigation for boaters.
The remainder of the additional spending will be spread across England and Wales, on bridges, weirs, culverts and cuttings. The full details are set out below.
Vince Moran, operations director at Canal & River Trust, said: “These types of projects are our bread and butter. They may not sound like the most exciting jobs but they are absolutely vital to keep our canals open and to keep boaters safe. I’m pleased to say that the additional money that the charity has generated will be spent directly on the waterways.
“We are fighting a constant battle against the effects of time, nature and daily use on our ageing waterway network and we can make this extra money go a long way to make a difference where it will matter the most. These works help maintain our 200-year old waterways and will directly benefit the boaters who use them.”
We're also planning to spend up to an additional £2 million on control of offside vegetation this winter in response to feedback from this autumn’s local user group meetings. Now that the overall plan has been assembled, further input will be sought from boaters and boating organisations.
Vince added: “Whilst off-side vegetation often has to take a lower priority than core structural works, we know it is important that we keep our canals from being restricted by overhanging trees. I’m delighted that we are hoping to allocate up to £2m on a blitz this winter to cut our greatest problem areas down to size.”
The major projects being carried out with the extra £2 million are: