Boating in London has become more challenging as boat numbers on London's waterways continue to grow. This has led to pressure on moorings, facilities and infrastructure. It can be hard to find space at towpath moorings in the most popular areas while the supply of long-term moorings isn't enough to meet demand.
Over the past few years we have been working with boaters and other stakeholders on solving the problem. While a number of trials have been carried out and there have been some positive changes, for example the creation of new long-term moorings and bookable moorings, it is clear that a plan of action that covers all aspects of London moorings, developed with waterway users, is necessary to make a significant difference.
A London Mooring Strategy will allow us to take a look at how to manage these issues, as well as make the most of opportunities that will help us maintain the waterways for the benefit of boaters and other users.
The aims of the London Mooring Strategy are:
- Better provision and management of a range of facilities and mooring types in London
- To manage the high number of boats in London and to mitigate the environmental impacts on the waterways and neighbours
- To help ensure fair sharing of water space
- To enable a wider range of boaters to visit and navigate in London
- To protect existing, and generate additional, income to maintain the waterways in London
- To support a London waterway destination and tourism strategy
- To ensure the mooring strategy contributes to the Trust's aim that London's waterways help to transform neighbourhoods and enrich people's lives
Matthew Symonds, boating strategy and engagement manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “London's waterways are some of the busiest in the country and we need to manage the finite space effectively. We need to face the challenges head on, as well as taking advantage of the opportunity to develop a really world-class waterspace that people will be able to visit and enjoy.
"We'll be working closely with those who use the capital's canals and rivers to make sure we hear everyone's views and make well-informed decisions.”
We have been gathering information from various groups, including our Navigation Advisory Group, the London Waterway Partnership, national boating organisations and other key stakeholders. There will be a programme of workshops for interested parties over the coming months.
The development of the London Mooring Strategy is anticipated to be completed in 2017.