News article created on 4 June 2021

Newbury extend their railings to improve water safety

A programme to improve water safety in Newbury has seen an extension to the railings at Victoria Park sluice on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

Group of people talking to each other on the towpath Mark Evans, Shaun Swain, Laura Farris MP and Dean Adlem inspect the new railings at Newbury

Our director for Wales & South West, Mark Evans this week (2 June) met with Laura Farris MP to view the railings with colleagues Shaun Swain and Dean Adlem who carried out the work.

Raising awareness

Mark said: “The extension to the railings is in response to wishes of the community and part of a programme to make the waterside in Newbury as safe and attractive as possible. We are working alongside the West Berkshire Water Safety Partnership which will be installing throw lines along the canal, and on an education programme to raise awareness of water safety amongst local children.”

Laura Farris said: “I am pleased that the Canal & River Trust have acted so swiftly and been so responsive to community concerns after the tragic accident in March. I really appreciated having the opportunity to talk to Mark about next steps including warning signs and buoyancy aids and will continue to work with him to improve safety on this stretch of the canal. We owe this to Dylan’s family.”

Improving safety

We are a partner in the West Berkshire Water Safety Partnership comprising West Berkshire Council, Thames Valley Police, the Trust, the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, South Central Ambulance Service and colleagues from the NHS.  

The Partnership is working together to improve the safety of the waterway through the district for residents and visitors using the canals and rivers. It is also looking at the broad issues of water safety and river usage, working to raise awareness of the risks of waterways amongst communities most at risk and engaging with the public, private and voluntary sectors with responsibility for waterways.