The Partnership is looking for feedback from all those who use and enjoy the popular canal to help it develop a 12-month pilot project.
Among the proposals people are being asked for their views on are:
- Work to identify stretches of the canal between Bath and Devizes as places that boaters should be recommended to cruise between
- Ideas for creating a local appreciation of what constitutes a bona fide journey in these places
- Setting up a panel of experienced and respected local people, the Waterway Partnership and Canal & River Trust mooring manager, to impartially assess enforcement cases that arise
- Agreeing local guidance between boaters and the Canal & River Trust to improve understanding of, and adherence to, local mooring requirements and Trust policies for boating in the area
The consultation takes place from Friday 30 August–Friday 29 November 2013. It has been sent to all boaters known to have been using the Kennet & Avon Canal over the past 12 months, as well as canal-side businesses, local authorities and local interest groups associated with the canal. Following the consultation, and subject to any changes resulting from it, there will be a 12-month pilot of the plan.
The working group that put together the proposals are: Emma Fearnley (K&A Trade Association), Terry Fell (angler representative), Sandra Fry (boaters with moorings representative), Andrew Harry (boater representative), Ken Oliver (Wiltshire County Council), Alida Robey (facilitator community resolve), Richard Wright (local community representative).
Tamsin Phipps, chair of the Trust's Kennet & Avon Waterway Partnership, said: “The aim of the Towpath Mooring Plan is to improve access to moorings for everybody, give boaters more confidence that they are complying with their licences, and better accommodate the needs of people who live on this section of the canal.
"The strength of the proposals are that they've been developed locally, by people who live, work and relax on and alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal. We hope that providing greater clarity on cruising and mooring guidelines, based on locally defined terms and supported by improved communication, will bring about a new and mutually beneficial culture of trust between boaters and the charity.”