June 2018 - The London Mooring Strategy has finally emerged and in it C&RT refutes the Inland Waterways Association arguments for a change of law saying: “The recent, and projected, growth in boat numbers must therefore be addressed through policy and management of mooring space.” Peter Underwood offers a swift summary of the 47 page document.

More long term moorings, more 14-day moorings, changing some moorings from 14 days to shorter terms, more paid bookable moorings and the promises of more facilities to cope with growing numbers.

The Trust says the increase in boats in London from around 2,500 in it’s first full year to just over 4,000 now, with the rate of increase dropping, made the new approach necessary.The London Mooring Strategy gave boaters, boating groups, and local councils, amongst others, an input and – if C&RT keeps its promises – it will be welcomed by many boaters.

Unfortunately a lot of the initiatives come under the heading of ‘jam tomorrow’. ​

While C&RT promises that in the current financial year boaters will get new taps at Harlseden, Sturt’s Lock (Shoreditch), Bow Locks, and Alperton, with a tap relocated from Old Ford to Sweetwater (Olympic Park) and new waste compounds at Harlesden, Feildes Weir (Hoddesdon), Stonebridge Lock, it is only to carry out feasibility work to open an Elsan to the public on the Regent’s Canal.

Promises that it will work with boaters and volunteers to install additional mooring rings, seem to imply that will happen soon – as will building high-end residential moorings at Millwall Outer Dock and Hayes.

It will also find cash for pre-bookable moorings in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on St Thomas’s Creek (up to two berths), and on the Lee Navigation adjacent to the Park (three berths), all of which will be charged for and signs for ‘watersports zones’ at Broxbourne and on the Lower Lee Navigation

However, a whole lot of the Moorings Strategy is based on promises with C&RT saying that the projects it ‘hopes to secure funding in future years’ include 1800m of new long-term offside moorings, enough for around 100 boats, more mooring rings to increase 14-day mooring capacity, changes to short-term moorings, and new facilities to meet growing customer demand, and improvement of existing sites.

The strategy also looks at providing winter mooring sites only outside central London and at providing more business moorings.

Matthew Symonds, boating strategy and engagement manager says: “There’s been a good level of support for the proposals and, following an extensive consultation, we’ve listened to feedback and made changes as a result. Now we’ll work with boaters and other stakeholders to put the improvements into place and make things better for boaters and sustainable for our canals and rivers.”

With many London boaters up in arms over long term mooring charges being hiked by four times the rate of inflation and the prospect of the loss of some 14 day mooring sites for shorter stays as well as new types of mooring it is difficult to predict how the capital’s boating community will react.

The full report, with a detailed breakdown of the improvements, can be found here: CRT London Mooring Strategy

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