Surge in Living Afloat Stretches London's Resources

Issue date: 19th December 2016

The Inland Waterways Association is calling on Canal & River Trust to speed up the introduction of more facilities, including moorings, on London’s waterways and warning people thinking of living on boats in London to seriously assess the implications of adopting that lifestyle.

In the wake of a survey that indicates there has been a 57 percent increase in people living on boats in the capital since 2012, the charity has emphasised that facilities for boaters in London are hopelessly inadequate to meet spiralling demand from both prospective residents and visitors.

For instance in central London – TfL’s Zones 1&2 – there are only seven public water points, five sewage and five refuse disposal facilities to serve all of London’s resident and visiting boaters. In addition, moorings are also seriously overcrowded, with boats frequently moored three abreast, presenting potentially significant risks to occupants in the event of fire.

Paul Strudwick, chairman of IWA’s London Region, said: “We can readily understand why more and more people struggling with the London housing ladder are wondering if a boat is a viable and affordable option, but we would urge them to properly assess if it will work for their personal circumstances, as the restrictions of living aboard a boat full time mean that sometimes it’s no bed of roses.”

“The fact that, unless they have access to a designated home mooring, boats also need to keep moving around the waterway network to meet their licence conditions obviously makes it an impractical choice for people needing consistent access to places of work or education,” he added.

IWA is also maintaining its call on Canal & River Trust not to issue ‘continuous cruising’ licences to people who cannot or do not intend to comply with the statutory requirements, and to enforce mooring rules fairly but firmly in London and elsewhere for the benefit of all in the boating community.

ENDS

Photographs

Images available on request.

Press Contact

For further information please contact Alison Smedley, Press Office, The Inland Waterways Association, by emailing alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk or phoning 07779 090915.

Notes for Editors

The Inland Waterways Association

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.
www.waterways.org.uk

Photographs

Images available on request.

Press Contact

For further information please contact Alison Smedley, Press Office, The Inland Waterways Association, by emailing alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk or phoning 07779 090915.