News article created on 13 May 2020

Our English waterways to reopen for navigation in three phases

In line with the latest government advice issued today, 13 May 2020, the Trust is able to announce the phased reopening of navigation to private boating across its waterways in England.

From today, Weds 13 May 2020

Private boaters may undertake short boating trips – avoiding use of locks and any staff-operated structures if possible – providing, as per current government guidance, they do not stay away from home overnight and return to their home mooring (where they have one).

From Saturday, 23 May:

Mooring exemptions will come to an end and our guidance for continuous cruisers comes back in to force. This doesn’t mean that every boat without a home mooring needs to move on this day, just that the Trust expects it to move off its current mooring within 14 days (i.e. by 6 June). Boaters in a high-risk group who need to continue to shield or self-isolate can agree special arrangements with their licence support officer if they haven’t already done so.

From Monday, 1 June:

On this date, we anticipate that our navigations will re-open in full, subject to some local exceptions, making longer journeys possible.

According to current Government guidance, those who do not liveaboard should not stay overnight. We are seeking further clarification as to whether overnight stays will be permissible once full navigation resumes.

The start of getting back to normal

Richard Parry, our chief executive, comments: “I am delighted that government has enabled us to announce plans to start to get boating back to normal across English waterways. We ask customers to make just short, local trips from today, with full navigation restored from 1 June, as it will take time to get the entire network fully operational, and booking for some passages and services will be required.

"Some sections may be closed for a longer period and our website will be kept up to date with the latest information and advice.  Please remember that social distancing continues to be maintained, with only members of your household able to go aboard your boat until further notice.”

Wales: boats on Welsh canals must follow the latest advice which may be different from above.