IWA Bulletin - 26th February 2016

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IWA News

HS2 Select Committee Listens to IWA

Photo: Wood End Lock and Cottage

IWA and Canal & River Trust have welcomed the Second Special Report by the HS2 Select Committee which includes improved protection for canals along the route of the new high speed rail line.

The report follows representations from many petitioners over the last few months, including a co-ordinated response from the The Inland Waterways Association, Canal & River Trust and canal societies to protect the use, attractiveness and historic character of the waterways.  As a consequence there will be further work by HS2 to improve the design and alignment of bridge crossings along the route and “a presumption that the perspective of canal users will be strongly taken into account in the design of infrastructure”.

IWA Navigation Committee Chairman, Gren Messham, who represented IWA at the Select Committee hearing, said: “Whilst the report’s findings do not give the level of assurance on noise mitigation that IWA was looking for, we are pleased to note that low-level noise mitigation will apply on all canal crossings.  We are also pleased to see assurances that canals and boaters are to be protected at several locations specifically from the impacts of HS2, whether during construction or operation, and that there will be a presumption that the perspective of canal users will be strongly taken into account in the design of infrastructure.”

Other headlines from the report include:

  • Trent & Mersey Canal – HS2 to review the alignment of Wood End Lane to move it way from the canal
  • Wyrley & Essington Canal - HS2 to fund replacement accommodation for Lichfield Cruising Club
  • Birmingham & Fazeley Canal – the Committee calls for a “positive architectural legacy” from the viaduct crossing the canal at Curdworth
  • Grand Union Canal, Wendover Arm - expectation that HS2 will prioritise early investigation into the impact of the proposed railway on water supplies to the Arm and nearby Weston Turville Reservoir
  • Grand Union Canal, Slough Arm – a commitment that HS2 will, if necessary, provide temporary accommodation for moorers affected by construction and will avoid any non-essential intrusion into the character of the canal area
  • Grand Union Canal, Colne Valley Viaduct – needs of boat owners and other residents along the canal to be accommodated, and HS2 challenged to improve the design of the viaduct 

Gren Messham has written a summary from the report of the sections that relate to canals, or you can read the full report on the Parliamentary website.

The next stage will be for any changes to be incorporated into the Bill before it moves into the House of Lords, with Royal Assent anticipated at the end of 2016.  Works are due to start some time during 2017.

Since the High Speed Rail project was announced in 2012, the Canal & River Trust and The Inland Waterway Association have worked closely with canal societies, the Government and HS2 Ltd to protect the nation’s historic waterways and improve the HS2 rail link.  This has resulted in significant changes to the scheme, leading both to cost savings and environmental benefits.  The decision in 2014 to realign the rail route to avoid the Fradley Junction area of the Trent & Mersey Canal was an example of this success.

Find out more about IWA's HS2 campaign.

Environment Agency Transfer - New Working Group

Photo: Great Ouse, below St Neots Lock

The Inland Waterways Association welcomes the announcement by Canal & River Trust and the Environment Agency that a joint working group will explore different options for the running of river navigations currently managed by the Environment Agency.  IWA has long campaigned for the transfer of these navigations from EA to CRT, and before Christmas asked its members in constituencies with EA waterways to write to their MPs in support of the transfer.

IWA is pleased to note the confirmation in the announcement that it remains Government policy to transfer responsibility for navigation of these rivers to CRT, subject to affordability and approval by CRT’s Trustees.  IWA’s National Chairman, Les Etheridge, said “In the light of recent floods there has never been a better time for CRT and EA to start talking about the practicalities of how the transfer would happen.  Transfer of navigation responsibility would also allow EA to concentrate on their regulatory functions of pollution and flooding.”  

IWA looks forwards to contributing to the review, and in the meantime will continue its campaign to demonstrate why the navigations currently run by EA would be better off with CRT. 

Click here for more on the subject of IWA's navigations transfer campaign.

Boston Barrier - Consultation Response

IWA has responded with concern to the Environment Agency’s consultation on the Draft Boston Barrier Environmental Statement. If the current proposals are included in the Boston Barrier Transport & Works Act Order and were implemented there would be a significant adverse impact to navigation in the Haven, and missed opportunities to improve and extend navigation in the wider area.

Among IWA’s concerns is the missed opportunity to improve navigation through water level management. The building of the flood barrier could create the opportunity to impound the water on the currently tidal section of the Witham through Boston, and would facilitate easier navigation between Grand Sluice Lock on the River Witham and EA's new Black Sluice Lock which gives access to the Black Sluice Navigation.  Maintaining water levels would bring economic benefits for Boston from a vibrant and thriving waterfront. This aspect of the original project has been dropped, and a big opportunity has been missed to do more than just prevent a tidal surge.

IWA also has concerns around new constraints on navigation in the Haven, downstream from Boston, that the barrier would create, both during construction and once the barrier was in operation.  IWA will be a statutory consultee when the Transport & Works Order is published later this year. 

Read IWA's full response to the consultation here. 

Barrier site: The photo below shows the barrier site at high tide. The new barrier will fit across the channel more or less between the grain elevator on the left on the Port of Boston quay, and on the right (which will be demolished).  The channel at the barrier site is about 50m wide, and when complete the barrier will occupy the right hand side of the photo,  with its sides about 2m higher than the current right hand side floodbank. The ‘gap’ to go through will be 25m wide, and the spare bit on the left hand side will be sheet piled off and filled in as currently planned. During construction, a cofferdam will occupy the right hand side side of the channel, leaving a gap 18m wide on the other side where boats will go through. EA plans one-way working of boats during construction and, later, during barrier operation.
Photo: Boston Barrier site

IWA Festival of Water at Pelsall - Explorer Cruise

Birmingham Canal Navigations Society will be running an Explorer Cruise from Friday 19th August to Friday 26th August to coincide with IWA's Festival of Water to be held at Pelsall Common on the weekend of 27th to 29th August 2016. This cruise is intended for those boaters who will attend the festival. Application forms for the festival can be downloaded here.


Birmingham Canal Navigations Society is keen to encourage the use of the less travelled parts and to discover the pleasures of the little used canals of the northern BCN. Many like the additional security of cruising in company with other boaters and particularly enjoy the social side of informal gatherings and organised activities at the designated mooring locations.  The cruise will include the Bradley workshops along with other guided walks, talks and social evenings.

The planned route with night stops is as follows:  Friday 19th August Titford (6 locks) Saturday 20th August Tipton Green (6 locks), Sunday 21st August Wednesfield Junction (Bentley Arm) (0 locks), Monday 22nd August Walsall Basin (9 locks) , Tuesday 23rd August Moorcroft Junction (0 locks), Wednesday 24th August Longwood Junction (9 locks), Thursday 25th August Anglesey Basin (0 locks), Friday 26th August Pelsall Common (0 locks) .

Applications forms for the cruise can be obtained from Stuart & Marie Sherratt by email or phone : Marie 07709 165073 or Stuart 07510 167288

Olympic Park Lock Receives Funding Boost

IWA's London Region has donated £4,500 towards the restoration of Carpenters Road Lock on the Bow Back Rivers in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The £1.75 million project, which includes £680,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will see new radial lock gates installed at Carpenters Road Lock. Built in the 1930s, lock had the only ‘double radial lock gates’ in the country.  The new gates will be automated to enable flood water to be distributed to channels within the Bow Back Rivers.

When restored the lock gates will open up navigation from the former Olympic Stadium to Waterworks River, and out to the river Thames.

WRG in Action on Essex Waterways

From 14th to 19th February, 15 volunteers from the Waterway Recovery Group supported the work of Essex Waterways staff and volunteers by helping to improve a section of (very muddy!) towpath on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.  Over the week 650 metres of towpath were resurfaced from Papermill Lock towards Little Baddow Lock. This is a popular spot for visitors and the local community so it is hoped the work will improve access for all.

150 tonnes of materials for the resurfacing work were kindly donated by Essex Highways. Essex Waterways Chairman, Roy Chandler, said  'Regularly working in partnership with Waterway Recovery Group and Essex Highways enables us as a not-for-profit company to continue to improve the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation for public benefit. We are vey grateful to both for their input to this project'.

Volunteers travelled from as far away as Wales and even Poland to help on the canal camp.

WRG Before
Photos: Paul Barry - Before and after on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation
Essex Waterways will be holding another weekend work party on the 5th to 6th March to finish resurfacing work and tidy up the area. For more details please contact Roy Chandler.

Vote for your favourite photo in IWA's calendar competition

Calendar 2017 montageWhich photograph do you like best? This is your last chance to make your choice in IWA's calendar competition, voting closes on Monday 29th February.

Please vote now and choose your favourite.  The competition photo gallery is hosted on a site called SurveyGizmo.  As soon as you have submitted your vote you will be returned to this page.  

Aqueducts (or Aquaducts)

The feature on aqueducts in Mid February Bulletin attracted some comments about other structures crossing waterways.  Mike Clarke wrote in to give some information about the Parbold Aqueduct. 


Photo: Mike Clarke -  Parbold Aqueduct, taken from the site of the original Parbold Lock on the Douglas Navigation.

"The least well-known aqueduct carrying one navigation over another is that at Parbold, which carries the Leeds & Liverpool Canal over the former Douglas Navigation. The Douglas Navigation was opened in 1741, and when the Leeds & Liverpool Canal was authorised in 1770, the aqueduct had to be built to carry the new canal over the old navigation. The canal from Parbold to Dean was originally built purely as a feeder from the old navigation, but in 1781, after the canal had been extended to Wigan and the canal from Burscough down to Sollom opened, the old navigation was closed. However, the lock into the river at Dean remained in use until around 1900, providing access to coal wharfs on the river".

Ian Fletcher also made contact about naming the six locations at which a navigable waterway crosses a navigable waterway.  He wanted to know if anyone knew what was unique about one of them.  Luckily he answered his own question that it is Tividale, in that it is an aquaduct - as opposed to an aqueduct - see the picture below.   He wondered if confusion originated from translating Latin to English or that the signwriter that produced this sign had just run out of space on his plank!


Photo: Ian Fletcher - Tividale Aquaduct

Ian commented "High among the attractions of our national network are its original idiosyncrasies, created by all the different canal companies - many of which have become lost under the spread of corporate identity in its various guises over the last 60 years or so".  

If anyone has examples of other unusual features across the waterways, Bulletin would be pleased to hear about them.

Running for the Waterways - support our runner


Photo: David Edwards-May taking a breather after a training run

David Edwards-May, running for IWA, is in serious training for the London Marathon being held on 26 April 2016.  He suggests that a good place for his supporters is on or beside the bridge over the entrance lock to Limehouse Basin. See Imagine the Course page for further details if planning to attend. 

Please support David now
Bulletin recipients can support David in his efforts to raise £5000 for IWA's campaign and restoration work online:  Visit David's Virgin Money Giving fundraising page

IWA’s Waterways Triathlon Returns for 2016

IWA’s Waterways Triathlon will make a return in autumn of this year, hoping to be bigger and better than ever! This year the event will take place on Sunday 25th September 2016 at Hoe Mill Lock near Maldon, on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.  

As with last year, there will be two routes of either 50km or 30km which includes canoeing, cycling and running to the finish line. 

triathlon dog

Photo:  Amanda and Diesel taking part in the 2015 Triathlon

Dogs will also be welcome again, so if your canine companion likes long distance events as much as you do, feel free to bring them along!  Not sure how they will manage the cycling!

The entry fees and all sponsorship raised will go towards Essex Waterways, who help to maintain and improve the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. This year, the fundraising efforts of participants will specifically help fund vital tow path restoration work along the canal; this work keeps the canal accessible for all users, ensuring they can enjoy everything the waterway has to offer. Discounted places are available for early bird registration, which will open in the next few days, so keep an eye on the website.

As well as lots of participants, volunteers are needed to help out on the day,  it’s a great way to be part of a really fun day.  Click here for entry details, pricing and further information  or call 01494 783453 ext. 611.

IWA Canalway Cavalcade - get involved!

IWA’s Canalway Cavalcade team are in full planning mode for the festival that runs in London over the weekend 30 April to 2 May.  In recent years Canalway Cavalcade has grown into the largest inland waterways event attracting over 30,000 visitors from all over the world.  To see what goes on have a look at this YouTube clip.

The growing success of Canalway Cavalcade means there are an amazing variety of opportunities to join the existing team of volunteers who run the event over the weekend.  Simply complete the IWA volunteering form  and email it to Ray Carter.


Photo: An entrant in the Decorated Boat Parade Canalway Cavalcade 2015

Camping, Caravanning and Motorhome Show

IWA has been selling its wares and promoting itself at the NEC this week and would be delighted to see IWA members.  Helen Whitehouse has reported a lot of interest and visitors to the stand.  The show runs until Sunday 28th February so do pay it a visit.

Camping Show

Photo:  Helen Whitehouse and team flying the IWA flag at NEC

IWA Essex Waterways - job vacancy

Just a reminder that the closing date for applications is fast approaching for the vacancy for a full time Navigations Manager at Essex Waterways, a subsidiary of IWA.  More details and an application pack are available at IWA's Essex Waterways page.  Submissions by Monday 29th February.

See your painting as an IWA Christmas card

A final request to artists out there.  Christmas cards are a good source of income to the Association.  Painted waterway scenes have featured on the cards for over thirty years and we are always looking for new artists.  Are you a waterways artist and would you be interested in seeing one of your paintings as an IWA card?  If you have a piece you would like to submit for review we would be delighted to have a look.  Please email a photo of your painting to Stephanie Pay before 29th February 2016.

IWA Branch News

Clean for the Queen

An initiative to help celebrate the Queen's imminent 90th birthday is taking off around the waterways, with IWA branches joining in a national campaign led by Keep Britain Tidy. 

IWA's Chester & Merseyside Branch will be Cleaning for the Queen by litter picking in their area on two dates.  On Friday 4th March they will be meeting at the Trooper Inn at 10am to work from Christleton to Chester Northgate Locks.  On Sunday 6th March they will cover the area between Northgate Locks and Blacon Ave Bridge, including the Dee Branch, meeting again at 10am.

IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch are joining forces with the Burslem Port Project and local community groups to Clean for the Queen in Middleport, Stoke on Trent, on Saturday 5th March, meeting at 10am in Middleport Park. 

On the same day IWA West Country Branch will be doing their bit for Clean for the Queen at Frenchweir Park on the River Tone in Taunton from 10am, meeting at the slipway at 10am. 

Also on Saturday 5th March, IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch members will be supporting an event being organised by a local group to clean up the whole length of the Middlewich Branch, all 10 miles of it.  They are meeting at 10am at Aqueduct Marina, Church Minshull.   

IWA Middlesex Branch members will be joining Friends of Slough Canal for their 'Clean for the Queen' event on the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal starting at Middlegreen Road Bridge, Slough, at 9.50am. 

IWA Manchester Branch will be following on a couple of weeks later, on Saturday 19th March, with a clean up on the Ashton Canal. 

For more information about the campaign click Clean for the Queen

Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Branch support the Chesterfield Canal Trust

At its AGM on 11th February, Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Branch presented a cheque for £500 to Robin Stonebridge of the Chesterfield Canal Trust. The money had been raised through  the Branch's involvement in the Nottingham Waterway Festival in October.  Accepting the donation, Robin gave a brief account of the severe blight that HS2 had had on the Trust's work, and their determination to get as much restoration done as is possible before the HS2 phase 2 route is published.


Photo:  Mike Snaith, Branch Chairman, presenting the cheque to Robin Stonebridge, Chesterfield Canal Trust

A more detailed account of progress on the Chesterfield will be given on 14th April, when the speaker will be John Lower, another stalwart of the Chesterfield restoration.  The Chesterfield Canal Trust have supported IWA's WRG Van Appeal and in turn will have the benefit of a WRG Work Camp staring on 25th March.  Click here for more details on the work of IWA's WRG.

West Riding Branch

The North East was particularly badly hit by the December floods.  Elaine Scott, chairman of West Riding Branch went into Leeds on Boxing Day and witnessed the force of water as it came through the arches and turned below River Lock.  As previously reported in Bulletin, the structural damage caused by this flooding will take some time to repair. 

Leeds Lock

Photo: Iain Scott - Leeds Lock 27th December 2016 - good to see the lights are still working!

As the original venue for the West Riding Branch's AGM has severe flood damage, and is unlikely to be available before the meeting, South Yorkshire Boat Club has offered the use of their club house in Heck. The meeting will take place on Friday 11th March at 8pm with Mike Marshall and Tom Wright as guest speakers.


Mary Heritage
IWA regrets to announce the death of Mary Heritage, a member of IWA's Oxfordshire Branch, in Sobell Hospice in Oxford.   She, together with her husband Ron, moved to Oxfordshire after retirement; he from his business as a plumber and she as a hospital matron. They had their own narrowboat ‘Heron’ and joined the local branch of the Inland Waterways Association. Ron speedily became chairman whilst Mary ran the major social events, namely Oxford Open Doors and Banbury Canal Day for the Branch.  She was responsible for the complete organisation of the canal activities within the events including booking the trip boats, organising volunteer steersmen and crew, booking and other on shore activities during the day, mooring of visitor boats, organising trader boats, and all the associated work behind the scenes over the year leading up to the event.  She retired from this role in 2014, but was still a font of knowledge that was often tapped into.  She will be sorely missed.

As part of the ongoing events and celebrations organised around the country during 2010, the centenary of the birth of one of IWA's co-founders Tom Rolt, Ron and Mary Heritage set off from Tooley’s boatyard in Banbury on 24 April  in their narrow boat 'Heron' to re-enact Tom and Angela Rolt’s 1939 historic cruise.


Photo: Mary Heritage setting off on the "Cressy" cruise on Heron in 2010.

John Pugh
Canal enthusiast, IWA member for over 40 years as well as WRG member, John Pugh died in January.  John with his wife Pam supported many IWA events and work parties attending Oxford Branch meetings from the 1970s.  John had great enthusiasm for the canals and rivers of this country.  Most holidays and many weekends were spent travelling and enjoying many areas of the waterways including many crossings of the English Channel to explore the waterways of France on MaBelle

Other Waterway News

Changes Proposed at Bulbourne

Boaters navigating the Grand Union Canal will be familiar with Bulbourne Yard located north of the Tring cutting, south of the Marsworth flight and near the entrance to Wendover Arm.  Many will remember that Bulbourne Yard was used mainly for the construction of lock gates before being moved off site in 2003 although there is still a CRT presence there which will remain under the new plans.  CRT are now seeking comments on a proposal to regenerate the yard and workshops which include four grade two listed buildings, two buildings of historical importance and three Victorian cottages. In this proposal the decorative ironworks currently sited in the yard will relocate to the old pumping station at Soulbury, so remaining on the waterways network.  There will also be some changes to the mooring arrangements along this stretch.  There is a dedicated website which shows more details and gives the opportunity to comment on the proposals.


Bridgewater Canal Reopens Ahead of Schedule

The Bridgewater Canal has now reopened following the installation of safety gates at Worsley. The Canal was closed to navigation on 2nd November 2015, from 400m West of the M60 motorway bridge to 1300m East of Bridgewater Marina.

The closure was due to run until the end of February, but the works have been completed ahead of schedule and the navigation is now open.

Campaign Launched to Replace Historic Mileposts - Leeds & Liverpool Canal Bicentenary (1816-2016)

The Leeds & Liverpool Canal Bicentenary this year is being marked by the Canal & River Trust with a major fundraising appeal to restore or replace missing mileposts along the waterway’s 127 mile route.  The charity hopes the EveryMileCounts appeal will encourage dozens of local groups and individuals to adopt their local stretch of canal and its mile marker.  The Trust is looking for sponsors to donate up to £200 to restore each milepost and volunteer work parties to help restore damaged or corroded mile posts.  The project is backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, whose grant of £36,600 has supported the appointment of a new project officer Alice Kay, the fabrication of 40 new mile posts and a programme of activities, heritage events and art workshops for local residents.

A recent survey of the trans-Pennine canal has revealed that about a third of the original 127 mile posts are missing or severely damaged, 89 need re-painting and around 75 need new number plates fixing to them.  This includes eight missing posts on the Yorkshire side of the canal, a 35-mile stretch between Gargrave and Leeds.  Although the canal is 200 years old, the original cast iron mile markers date back to the 1890s.  They were installed as a response to legislation introduced to regulate canal freight tolls - the Railway and Canal Rates, Tolls and Charges Order of 1893.  This prompted the whole of the canal to be re-surveyed and new mileposts, along with half and quarter mileposts, installed along the towpaths.

Marking the start of the canal bicentenary celebrations, the first newly restored milepost was unveiled in Skipton on Friday 19 February. It has been saved thanks to the eagle-eyes of retired Keighley resident, John Webb.  He is a keen local historian and canal enthusiast and during his walks along the canal noticed that the mile maker had been damaged and a broken section was buried in nearby undergrowth.  Any organisation or volunteer interested in getting involved in the bicentenary EveryMileCounts project, should contact Canal & River Trust project officer Alice Kay 


Photo: IWA West Riding Branch - Skipton Town Mayor, Councillor Gordon Bell with his wife, together with CRT North West Partnership, Bob Pointing and CRT North West Local Waterways Manager, Chantelle Seabourn arriving by boat to formally unveil the restored milepost (actually it was a half mile post!).

Invitation to Trail Boats to visit Summer Canal Festival

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust is seeking about six trail boats to spend the weekend on their Canal Basin on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 August 2016. The occasion is H&G Canal Trust's annual Festival on the Canal at Over, Gloucester, GL2 8DB.

Further information is available by emailing the Trust or by calling 07947 108726.

Warwick Bar for Sale?

Uncertainty hangs over the future of an important part of Birmingham’s industrial heritage and 21 small businesses. It has been reported that an organisation called Isis, (a development company in which CRT has a share but no control over what is sold), intends to sell the leasehold of a 3.5 acre site within the Warwick Bar conservation area.  The area for sale includes grade II listed buildings on Fazeley Street, Warwick Wharf, the Banana Warehouse and Minerva Works. The site is significant to Birmingham’s history and is contained by the Digbeth Branch canal, the Grand Union Canal and the River Rea on which the city emerged.

Befriending the Exeter Ship Canal

The inaugural meeting of the Friends of Exeter Ship Canal was held on Monday 22nd February at the Exe Water Sports Association, close to the Ship Canal and the Quay.  This initiative was promoted by the Exeter Civic Society’s River, Canal and Quayside group, with support from IWA's West Country Branch.  All those present voted in favour of establishing the “Friends” and a strong committee was formed to take it forward.

IWA West Country Branch Chairman, Bob Abbott and Volunteer Co-ordinator, Mike Slade both spoke at the meeting and welcomed the initiative to set up the Friends.  The Branch will continue to provide support to FoESC as it builds up its activities over the next few years, in particular helping with the establishment of Volunteer Work Parties along the canal and its towpath.     

The Exeter Ship Canal is just 5 miles long and runs from Exeter to Turf Lock, where there is a Sea Lock at the entrance to the canal from the River Exe.  The canal was the first to be built in the country with pound locks and was originally opened in the autumn 1566 – this autumn thus sees its 450th anniversary.  A key aim of the Friends will be promoting it as a valued asset of the community.  For further information about the Friends of Exeter Ship Canal please contact John Monks.

Exeter Ship

Exeter Ship Canal

Photos:  Exeter Ship Canal courtesy of Exeter Civic Society

Broads Public consultation: Your views wanted...

Views are invited on two important plans being prepared by the Broads Authority.  These plans set out the strategic priorities and spatial planning policies for the management of the Broads.

The two plans are:

  • Broads Plan 2017 – first draft
  • Broads Local Plan to 2036 – Issues and Options

The Broads Authority are consulting on both plans from Monday 15 February to Friday 8 April 2016. See Broads consultations  for full details.  To be considered, comments must be submitted in writing to the Broads Authority by the closing date of 4pm on Friday 8 April 2016.

Broads Plan 2017 – first draft: The Broads Plan is the key strategic management plan for the Broads. It is a partnership plan, setting out the long-term vision for the Broads and guiding strategic actions for the benefit of the Broads environment, local communities and visitors. The plan is reviewed on a regular basis and updated as required. This first draft Broads Plan 2017 is an update to the current plan (Broads Plan 2011). It focuses on proposed strategic priorities for action by the Broads Authority and its partners for the period 2017-22.

Broads Local Plan to 2036 – Issues and Options: The Broads Local Plan sets out the strategic spatial planning policy for the Broads. It is used by the Broads Authority, the Local Planning Authority for the Broads, to help determine planning applications and shape the future development of the area. The Broads Local Plan will replace the existing suite of planning documents in the Broads Local Development Framework. The Local Plan will cover a wide range of planning related topics including renewable energy, affordable housing, moorings, flooding and impacts of development schemes on people and landscape.

Changes to the Boat Safety Scheme

Following the public consultation in Autumn 2015 on proposed changes to the Boat Safety Scheme for holiday and day hire boats, the BSS has published the agreed outcomes, and actions.  Most of the proposed changes will be implemented as set out in the consultation, with the main exception that it has been decided to implement the revised BSS hire boat requirements from April 2017, twelve months later than proposed in the consultation.  Existing 2002 non‐private BSS certificates on hire boats will continue to be recognised until they expire, but this is in the expectation that all hire craft will meet the new revised requirements from April 2017.

The BSS will be publishing the new and amended checks in detail in April 2016 on its website. It will be asking navigation authorities and trade associations to help make the hire boat operators they are in contact with aware of the new information.

A full response to the comments made can be seen on this link.
The BSS can be contacted for technical support by any hire boat operator seeking information to help move their fleet to full compliance where questions, photos, diagrams and supporting documents can be uploaded to the BSS website.

The current BSS requirements for non‐private boats can be viewed here. The proposals affect all hire boats operating on waterways that have adopted the BSS. For the purposes of the consultation, hire boat means, any hired powered boat such as weekly and day hire craft.

The term ‘hire boat’ does not include:

  •  privately owned or managed boats for leisure, pleasure and residential owner‐occupation
  •  boats operating commercially with a skipper or crew, and which carry passengers
  •  workboats
  •  emergency service boats and rescue boats
  •  hotel boats
  •  boats let as residences or longer term accommodation

IWA Branch and Region Magazines

The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:

East Midlands Region - Aegre
South East Region - Cargoes
North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch - Knobsticks
Birmingham Branch - Worcester Bar
Chester & Merseyside - Chester Packet
South London and North & East London Branches - Meridian Cuttings

Waterway Events

Major IWA events in 2016

30th April - 2nd May 2016 - IWA Canalway Cavalcade, London
28th May - 29th May 2016 - IWA Trailboat Festival, Staveley
11th - 12th June - IWA Campaign Festival, Eldonian Village, Liverpool
27th August - 29th August 2016 - IWA Festival of Water, Pelsall

Have you got a waterway event or activity to promote? - Anyone can add details of a waterways event or activity to this area on the website. You don’t even need to register with the website or provide any sort of password. Simply use the upload event form.

See IWA's Events Calendar for a full list of waterway events. You can also search by event type or find out what's going in on your area with the map search.

Upcoming Volunteer/Cleanup Events

2nd March Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
4th March Work Party - Rugeley (Supported by IWA Lichfield Branch)
5th March Work Party - Burslem Arm (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
9th March Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
9th March Work Party - Staffs & Worcester (IWA Birmingham Branch)
10th March Work Party - Uttoxeter (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
12th March Work Party - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (Supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
13th March Work Party - Sleaford Navigation (Supported by IWA Lincolnshire Branch)
13th March Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
15th March Work Party - Banbury (Supported by IWA Oxfordshire Branch)
16th March Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
17th March Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Cheshire Locks (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
19th March Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
20th March Canal Clean Up - Brownsover, Rugby (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
22nd March Work Party - Burslem Arm (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
23rd March Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
23rd March Work Party - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (Supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
25th March Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
26th March Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
29th March Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
30th March Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)

2nd April Canal Clean Up - Slough Arm (Supported by IWA Middlesex Branch)
2nd April Work Party - Avon Lock Paint (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
2nd April Work Party - Burslem Arm (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
3rd April Work Party - Tinsley Marina (South Yorks & Dukeries Branch)
6th April Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
10th April Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
13th April Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
13th April Work Party - Staffs & Worcester (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
14th April Work Party - Uttoxeter (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
20th April Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
27th April Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)

To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar

Upcoming Towpath Walks

6th March Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
8th March Waterside Walk - Hatherton Canal & Great Saredon (IWA Lichfield Branch)
20th March Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
27th March Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)

3rd April London Towpath Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
17th April Waterside Walk - Lapal Canal (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
17th April London Towpath Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)

To advertise your towpath walks in the Bulletin, please add details to IWA's events calendar

IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:

  • ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount
  • Airedale Cruising - 10% discount off skippered day cruises
  • Blackwater Boats - 10% discount
  • Boat Windows Ltd - 5% discount
  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Calcutt Boats - 5% Discount
  • Canal Boat Magazine - Annual subscription for just £15
  • CanalCruising.co.uk - 10% discount
  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • Frangipani SUP Ltd - 10% discount
  • Forge Studio - 10% discount
  • IceGripper - 20% discount
  • I Love Meet and Greet Ltd - 15% discount
  • King's Lock Chandlery - 5% discount
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Marine Megastore Ltd. - 15% discount
  • Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
  • Middlewich Narrowboats - 25% discount on hire of classic boat Willow
  • Paper Wizard - 15% discount
  • River Canal Rescue - Up to 15% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • The Three Locks Pub, Grand Union Canal nr. Milton Keynes - 10% discount on food
  • Wavetrain Marine - 5% discount on 1 day VHF SCR training courses
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard 
  • Wyvern Shipping Co. Ltd - 10% discount on published prices
  • Zead - Free postage and accessories

Please note: All discounts and offers are entirely at the organisers' discretion.

To see details of how to take advantage of these offers, please go to the IWA Members discount page.

For IWA members who receive a printed copy of this bulletin in the post, please contact the membership team on 01494 783453 for the details of the offers.

Members can also support IWA with a Narrow Boat magazine subscription

Boat Insurance

IWA has an arrangement with insurers Navigators & General and River Canal Rescue that provides top quality boat insurance and access to the basic waterway rescue service for boat owners, with the added benefit that every policy taken out and subsequently renewed helps IWA, and thus furthers our charitable work for the waterways. 

See more information about the IWA insurance scheme for boaters

Contact Us

IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453
Bulletin is edited by Marion Birch


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Other Information

Mystery Photo Challenge

Take part in the mystery photo challenge and submit your answer here.

See the answer and those that guessed correctly for the previous mystery challenge!

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