Issue date: 18th June 2013
IWA local branches (Birmingham Black Country & Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire & Herefordshire) have supported boat-owners on the river Severn at Upton, where one of the very few moorings available for visiting boats was recently re-allocated by Canal & River Trust for use by a commercial trip boat, having stated that this was necessitated by the local authority introducing new access restrictions for coaches in the town centre. The Town Council maintained, however, that this was not the case, and there was local upset at the absence of consultation before the Trust issued a notice advising the new restriction. Mooring is extremely difficult in the area and the local view was that CRT had not considered Health & Safety implications.
CRT proposed a revised arrangement in which the public trips on the trip boat would operate from its original moorings in the town at weekends, and the visitor mooring pontoon would only be used for scheduled charter trips for people arriving by coach on weekdays during the summer.
CRT apologised for the lack of consultations and noted that they would revisit increasing the visitor moorings at Upton. Upton Town Council has since announced, however, that it believes it is 50% owner of the pontoon moorings, so its permission for any restriction is required, which it is not willing to give.
IWA is locally pursuing with CRT the provision of further visitor moorings in Upton, along with general issues affecting the River Severn such as lack of facilities, lack of moorings and restrictive opening times. Lack of co-operation from local authorities in the Severn corridor is often a problem, though in this case Upton Town Council appears supportive of boaters and values the trade they bring to the town.