We're improving London's waterways

We are providing an update on the latest progress of its London Mooring Strategy which, over a number of years, aims to improve the number of moorings and facilities available to boaters whilst fairly balancing the needs of everyone who uses the capital’s waters.

Boats at Little Venice Boats at Little Venice

Each year the Trust invests approximately £2.2m[1] in maintaining and managing London’s waterways. To date, around £125k has been invested as part of the London Mooring Strategy. There is more to do, and the Trust is committing a further £190k to continue with customer service facility improvements, including water points, bin stores, and boater waste facilities, and putting in new mooring rings, in 2021/22.

The Strategy

We will be carrying out dredging survey work and wall inspections in the spring, installing new mooring rings from summer with the aim of completing the majority by the end of the year.

Throughout 2021 the team will be laying down plans for the new customer service facilities, including onsite investigations, service searches, and developing specifications for the sites, with additional funds allocated in the 2022/23 budget for their installation.

The Strategy, which was published in 2018 to help manage the increasing demand for boating in the capital, acknowledged that if boat numbers continued to rise then additional measures would need to be investigated to ensure the waterways are managed safely and are available fairly for everyone.

Improving our waterways

Ros Daniels, our regional director, says: “The London Mooring Strategy is a collaborative effort between the Trust, boaters, and other waterway stakeholders, to facilitate best use of London’s increasingly busy waterspace for all types of boating. 

"Over the past few years we’ve been able to put into place a number of improvements suggested by those who use the capital’s canals, and we hope that’s gone some way to making the London boating experience smoother.

"Being on and by the water makes people less stressed – something the current times have shown us is needed more than ever – and we want to make sure we’re doing all we can to ensure boaters’ time in London is rewarding.

“We continue to face challenges from the growth in boat numbers, with little sign of this trend reversing. This makes the fair and safe management of London’s waterspace more important than ever.

"With that in mind, we are continuing to carry out the works identified in the mooring strategy, and we have started a new discussion with boaters and other stakeholders about how we, and they, may be able to address the issues caused by more boats trying to fit into a finite space. 

"Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the initial online engagement sessions or by completing the online survey. We’re reviewing the initial feedback before we publish details of the next steps in this work.”

Improvements already made

Physical improvements already made as part of the London Mooring Strategy include:

  • New mooring rings at: Yiewsley; Limehouse Cut; West Drayton; Alperton.
  • New/improved canal-side bin stores at: Feildes Weir; Stonebridge; Harlesden Steele Road; Pickett’s Lock.
  • New/improved water points at: Atlip Road, Alperton; Sturt’s Lock, Angel; Paddington; Slough Basin; Greenford.
  • New Elsan points for boaters to empty waste from their boat at Sturt’s Lock and Norwood.
  • Re-opened the Elsan point at Hazelmere after successfully resolving long-standing problems with the pumps connecting to the mains.

Improvements already made to moorings to fairly share waterspace between different types of boater:

  • Eight new long-term moorings created and a further 25 in development.
  • Low-impact living: development of Eco Mooring Zone in Islington.
  • Six new pre-bookable visitor moorings on former commercial boat moorings in Paddington Basin.
  • New trade moorings at Sweetwater, East Wick, Stratford Waterfront.
  • Winter moorings offered in outer London to protect central London for cruising boats.

[1] Total operational spend for London & South East region in the financial year 2020/21: £3.6m