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News article created on 21 November 2013

New plans to help boaters and residents get along in Islington

We're planning a series of measures to improve relationships between boaters and residents at the popular visitor moorings on the Regent’s Canal in Islington.

Some local residents have complained of noise and smoke coming from the boats, while some boaters feel they are being unfairly penalised for going about their way of life. We're committed to supporting the needs of boaters and residents alike and will be working with Islington Council, sharing expertise and data, to resolve the situation.

  • The measures, which focus on reducing noise and smoke at the moorings and encouraging a greater turnover of boats, include:
  • Making Islington visitor moorings a Quiet Zone, including limiting engine and generator noise to background level
  • Daily weekday sightings of boats by the Trust’s enforcement team, with prompt warning letters when boaters are staying too long or behaving anti-socially
  • Mooring to be kept to a single line of boats in winter, with a maximum of two abreast in the summer
  • Looking into recruiting monthly rotating ‘Caretaker Boaters’ who will advise and provide information to boaters, report local incidents, and liaise with residents and agencies
  • New signs to reinforce Quiet Zone messages and mooring arrangements
  • Two new part-time Mooring Rangers on the towpath, including at weekends, to provide information, raise awareness of boating protocols, and implement mooring rules
  • Investing in a DEFRA-funded project for an Environmental Health apprentice to provide boaters with environmental advice, training and assessments.

We consulted with boater groups, local residents and Islington Council between 20 September and 4 October 2013. The resulting plan is a trial that will be reviewed after four months, during which time we will be carrying out continuous monitoring of its effectiveness.

Sorwar Ahmed, boating liaison manager at Canal & River Trust, said:  “Boats have been part of the fabric of Islington life since the Regent’s Canal was dug 200 years ago. Today, many people still choose to make their home on the water, and London’s canals are more popular than ever. Just as a house needs heating and lighting, boaters need to keep themselves warm and to generate electricity. In busy locations such as Islington, this can cause tensions with the people who live alongside the canal, as engine noise and smoke is part of life on the cut.

“The majority of boaters follow the requirements of keeping noise to an acceptable level, not running their generators between 8pm and 8am, and only burning clean fuel. However, there are some people who don’t stick to these rules and we hope our new plans will make them think and change their behaviour.

“We know that views about what should be done are polarised, with residents wanting tougher measures and boaters unhappy about having more restrictions placed on them. We have to make a balanced judgment and see what can be done to improve the situation as it stands at the moment. We think our plans can do this and we are working with Islington Council to monitor things such as smoke, noise and use of moorings, which we will publish so boaters and residents can see how things are changing.” 

Find out more information on the Islington Visitor Moorings Management plan and the consultation