Issue date: 7th June 2016
Boaters using the waterways of the North West of England will know that there has long been a reciprocal agreement in place to allow boats licensed on the Bridgewater Canal to access local CRT waterways, and for CRT licence holders to use the Bridgewater Canal to travel between the Rochdale, Trent & Mersey and Leeds & Liverpool Leigh Branch canals, without any additional charge. The Bridgewater Canal Company (BCC) has recently changed the reciprocal agreement and IWA is concerned that this may affect boaters with CRT licences who wish to use the Bridgewater Canal to access other CRT waters for a short period and then return the same way. IWA North West Region is continuing to lobby on behalf of all boaters and businesses in the area in an effort to mitigate any adverse affects from the changes.
Current enforcement activity along the Bridgewater Canal already seems to be discouraging CRT licensed boaters from making the transit from Preston Brook to Leigh and Manchester as they may be charged a £40 supplementary licence fee for the return journey. It is expected that if this trend continues the local businesses along the Bridgewater will suffer as visitor numbers reduce.
CRT had recently extended the reciprocal agreement to allow additional time for Bridgewater licensed boats to visit Liverpool, and so it is particularly disappointing that there seems to be no 'reciprocation' from BCC to encourage CRT craft to visit the Bridgewater Canal.
Mike Carter, IWA North West Region Chairman, said “IWA is campaigning for a system that allows suitably licensed boats to be able to visit all locations surrounding the Bridgewater Canal, including Manchester, Liverpool, Wigan, Blackburn, Middlewich, Barbridge and Kidsgrove. IWA considers that both CRT and BCC should be encouraging visitors to the area by maintaining a reasonable licensing policy that avoids isolating these locations for both Bridgewater and CRT licensed craft”.
Photos available on request.
For more information please contact Alison Smedley, Press Office, The Inland Waterways Association, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 07779 090915.
Notes for Editors
IWA is The Inland Waterways Association, a membership charity that works to protect and restore the country's 6,500 miles of canals and rivers. IWA is a national organisation with a network of volunteers and branches who deploy their expertise and knowledge to work constructively with navigation authorities, government and other organisations. The Association also provides practical and technical support to restoration projects through its expert Waterway Recovery Group.
IWA - Keeping our waterways alive.
Photo - Bridgewater Canal at Worsley taken by Adrian and Gillian Padfield.