Here are feature articles by London Boaters. Members may comment on matters presented here.


August 2018 - The first boater organisation – and so far the only one – to challenge the Environment Agency’s plans to hike boat registration fees by between 10 per cent and 5.7 per cent per year for three years is the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA), as Alec Wood reports

The Environment Agency (EA) is consulting on proposals for increases massively above inflation in 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021 and NBTA’s chair, Pamela Smith is urging members to respond by post, email or online before it closes at the end of August.


August 2018 - The sheer scale of the closures and restrictions, both drought-related and the physical failures of the network’s structures has been brought home in Canal & River Trust’s usually chirpy and lightweight Boater’s update, as Peter Underwood observes.

Boater’s Update is usually unrelenting in its cheerfulness but – as it records - June was the third driest month since records began in 1910 – and the hot dry weather has continued.


August 2018 - The impact of the drought is steadily moving south to impact on increasingly large areas of the system, with London the latest as the rivers feeding the Grand Union and Paddington Arm drying up.

C&RT has told boaters: “Following the long period of dry hot weather there are continued low flows of water from the river tributaries that feed the Grand Union Canal, including the Paddington Arm.


August 2018 - After earning negative national publicity for its bid to raise the price of London moorings in a series of price hikes more than four times the rate of inflation, as well as now facing a threat of a serious legal challenge, it seems Canal & River Trust is having a rethink. Whether it is simply a pause to allow the heat of protest to die down or a serious bid to engage mooring customers remains to be seen as Peter Underwood reports.


August 2018 - Canal & River Trust is conducting a massive charm offensive to bring more of the public to the canals, with large scale spending on advertising and social media, as part of it’s bid for replacement government cash once the current grant ends, on the basis that it is enhancing the ‘wellbeing’ of the wider public.

It has to be unfortunate that two key measures of the public’s view of the Trust show that they are yet to be convinced, as Allan Richards reports after delving into C&RT’s latest Annual Report.

As one breach opens…

July 2018 - Canal & River Trust has some good news for northern boaters with the announcement that the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Melling should be reopened by mid August, clearing the route into Liverpool after nearly two months of closure, Peter Underwood reports.

After weeks of preparation, work has begun to repair a collapsed culvert beneath the Leeds & Liverpool which, drained a long section of the canal in the middle of June.

Environment Agency seeks inflation-busting licence increase

July 2018 - Boaters on the The Thames, the Medway and the East Anglian Rivers are facing massive increases from the Environment Agency as it strives to get boat owners to pay more as the Treasury starves it of cash for navigations, as Peter Underwood reports.

Partial C&RT climb-down on vexatious claim?

July 2018 - When C&RT demanded The Floater stopped asking it difficult questions back in May it is fair to say we didn’t exactly do as the charity demanded. Allan Richards gives an update on the struggle to get the Trust to honour its legal obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000​


July 2018 - Just at the time when C&RT’s whole future is balanced on it being able to show it improves the well-being of more and more non-boating canal visitors there is a distinct downward trend in numbers visiting the system, as Allan Richards has discovered.

As canals close down C&RT celebrate ‘fantastic work’

July 2018 - The Canal & River Trust is celebrating what it describes as “some of the fantastic work carried out by its staff and volunteers over the past year” with the presentation of its annual Waterways Alive Awards at the Anderton Boat Lift, as Peter Underwood reports.

Chief Executive Richard Parry announced the winners the award for Best Operations or Works went to what the Trust describes as “the £2.5m Marple Makeover which saw major repairs to an entire heritage lock flight and aqueduct.”


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