IWA PRESS RELEASE

IWA PRESS RELEASE

11 November 2010

INLAND WATERWAYS ASSOCIATION STALWART ON THE RIVER THAMES RETIRES

Tony Davis, a member of the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) for 42 years and IWA’s representative on the Environment Agency’s (EA) Thames Waterways Working Group (TWWG) and its predecessor committees for the last 33 years has announced that he is to stand down from formally representing the IWA at the end of the year.

Tony said:

‘It has been a privilege to serve IWA for so long and in my time the IWA contribution to campaigning, working together with other Thames representative organisations, has seen many improvements to the Thames. I especially value the contribution to the TWWG, collaborating with others who value the Thames as much as IWA. Over a period of years, some of the developments that I prize are the EA re-engineering of lock consoles to allow out-of-hours use (final one completed this year); trials to determine the speed limit on the river; reciprocal licences with British Waterways resulting in the Gold Licence; better licence purchase arrangements and conditions for visiting boats; and input to the Customer Charter and the Thames Waterway Plan.’

He went to say:

‘More recently I was proud of the IWA role – again alongside others – in successfully campaigning for the EA to reverse its decision to sell Lock Keepers’ cottages. Furthermore, this year, after 4 years of campaigning, given my personal involvement, I was delighted to see the new and improved moorings open at Weybridge; and colleagues in IWA made a significant contribution in lobbying for the new moorings at Wallingford, which also opened this year.’

Clive Henderson, IWA chairman commented:

‘We are lucky to have people like Tony in IWA. It is their determination and continued resolve to protect and improve their local waterways – in Tony’s case the Thames – that ensures good waterways for all to enjoy. I value his contribution over many years and wish him well in enjoying the fruits of his labours.’

He finished by saying:

‘The Thames is a major component of the waterways network and a vital corridor between so many other navigations. The lower reaches of the Thames are well patronised, and the future for even better network links is looking very promising. Changes in navigation authority management currently being put forward by Government provide a 'once in a generation' opportunity to simplify the multitude of different navigation management arrangements in this area.
 
IWA is also pleased that the upper reaches of the Thames have become more popular, especially with visiting boaters. The new moorings at Wallingford are important as they give boaters a place to easily moor and spend their money to support the local economy. IWA is supporting further extension of the boating network with its fundraising appeal to restore and re-commission Inglesham Lock on the Thames and Severn Canal at its junction with the Thames near Lechlade. This will reopen the gateway to the Cotswold Canals restoration. In time, a restored Wilts and Berks Canal will also add to the cruising routes available from and to the Thames, and good progress is being made with the restoration of the Wey and Arun Canal. When completed, this will re-open a non-tidal route from the Thames to the English Channel. IWA has recently provided the Trust with two grants to help fund development work.

IWA is and always has been a keen supporter of the Thames. Over 10% of our membership is in the Thames corridor. We reflect that support in our annual National Festival. It has been on the Thames 4 times in the last 13 years. We will be back again soon.’

ENDS For more information please contact Jo Gilbertson or David Padfield on 01494 783453

Jo.Gilbertson@waterways.org.uk
David.Padfield@waterways.org.uk

Notes For Editors

IWA

The Inland Waterways Association is a registered charity, founded in 1946, which advocates the conservation, use, maintenance, restoration and development of the inland waterways for public benefit.

IWA works closely with navigation authorities, national and local authorities, voluntary, private and public sector organisations. We campaign and lobby for support and encourage public participation in the inland waterways. IWA also manages the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation for the public benefit, through its subsidiary Essex Waterways, having stepped in to prevent its closure in 2005.

IWA actively supports waterway restoration, and through its waterways restoration volunteering organisation, Waterway Recovery Group, organises and subsidises over 20 week-long waterway restoration working holidays for volunteers of all ages throughout the UK each year, as well as conducting multiple work parties around the country on most weekends. This particularly enables young people to participate in the preservation and restoration of our heritage, and in doing so learn construction and heritage skills.

More than 500 miles of canals and navigable rivers have been re-opened to public use since the Association was founded in 1946. The Association is working to restore a further 500 miles of derelict inland waterways.

IWA is organised into 34 local branches covering geographical areas of the country, through which volunteers coordinate activities as diverse as policing planning applications through the waterway corridor, organising festivals and events to raise public awareness, providing engineering expertise, raising money for restoration schemes, and providing education on the value and benefits of their local waterways.

There is much more information at www.waterways.org.uk