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News article created on 11 July 2013

First canal ‘Quiet Zone’ in Wiltshire hailed a success

A unique ‘Quiet Zone’ on a stretch of the Kennet & Avon Canal in Wiltshire has been such a success that we're now thinking of introducing to further stretches of the waterway.

The ‘Quiet Zone’ was introduced last November to deal with disturbance created by mooring boats. It covers approximately 150 metres section of the canal near Pewsey, between Honeystreet Bridge and the Barge Inn.

Signs welcoming boaters to enjoy the area also ask that they avoid running generators and playing loud music, as well as being considerate to neighbours.

It is the first time a Quiet Zone has been trialled on the 200 year-old Kennet & Avon Canal, which is one of the most popular stretches of canal amongst boaters in the country.

Mark Stephens, waterway manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “The zone is a new concept for us to try, it’s working well and the feedback from the parish council, residents and boaters has been positive. It works in a similar way to the signs you see in pubs, asking people to respect neighbours when they leave.

First of its kind

It shows most people are happy to respect their neighbours – whether that’s people in nearby houses or other boaters – if they are made aware that they could be causing disturbance. Honeystreet Bridge is a lovely spot, relatively secluded, and in the past it wasn’t always obvious to boaters mooring there that their motors or music might be causing a problem. But with the zone in place, they now know. We’re now looking at other spots on the Kennet & Avon canal that could also benefit from a Quiet Zone.”

Charles Reiss, Clerk of Alton Parish Council, said: "This has been a cooperative effort, with parish council, boaters and the Trust working together to tackle a local problem. It's not a complete solution but it has certainly helped. I believe this Quiet Zone is the first of its kind anywhere on the waterway network. If the Q signs can be agreed and turn out to be helpful in other places as well, that would be great."

We will consult with local people before proposing any new zones.