Kennet & Avon Canal to be upgraded to Cruiseway Status

Issue date: 23 March 2011

After years of campaigning by the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust, the Kennet & Avon Canal will soon be fully reclassified as a ‘Cruiseway,’ raising its legal status and securing its future.

Mike Rodd, Chairman of The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust Council, said: "The Trust is delighted to have been advised by British Waterways that they have received confirmation from DEFRA’s Parliamentary Section that the re-classification Order to redefine the sections of the K&A Waterway which are presently classified as “Remainder Waterways” as “Cruiseways”, will definitely come into force on 18 April 2011. This is wonderful news that begins another chapter of the history of our Trust and our Waterway.”

British Waterways (BW), supported by the Trust and the K&A Trade Association, has campaigned for many years to achieve this important change. In the long term, it will ensure that BW (or its proposed successor, the “National Waterways Charity”) will maintain the canal in its entirety as a fully operational waterway, available for cruising.

In practice, BW has been maintaining the waterway as a Cruiseway since the restoration was completed in 2002, with the substantial additional funding required currently coming from direct financial contributions from the relevant riparian Councils (Wiltshire, West Berkshire and Bath & North East Somerset).