One of the Association’s principal aims, as set out in its Memorandum of Association, is:
For the public benefit to advocate the conservation, use, maintenance and development of the inland waterways…to advocate and promote the restoration and maintenance in good condition of such waterways…and advocate and promote their fullest use for appropriate commercial and recreational purposes.
The Association is concerned that, contrary to this aim, on a number of waterways the authorities are applying restrictions to their use for boating or other purposes. The restrictions are generally for nature conservation or other management reasons and relate both to fully navigable waterways and to partially derelict waterways in the course of restoration. The Association has therefore adopted the following policies; it will:
(a) continue to advocate the fullest sustainable use of all waterways whether or not restrictions are applied by the navigation authority or owner.
(b) continue to advocate the restoration of waterways, even in cases where restrictions on future use are threatened, and to offer support to all credible restoration groups that request it.
(c) urge restoration groups, before major expenditure is undertaken, to agree future management plans for use of waterways with the owners or navigation authorities, in liaison with local authorities, amenity societies, wildlife trusts and other local interests.
(d) promote and commission research into areas where better information is required and advocate the wider use of scientific research as the foundation for decision making on waterway usage and management.
(e) advocate that broadly based economic assessments should be made of the benefits and disbenefits of waterway use to community, commercial and conservation interests.
(f) take account of whether navigation or towing path access is to be unreasonably restricted when allocating resources to restoration projects.