After a competitive tendering process, British Waterways (BW) has awarded a national dredging contract to marine-based civil engineer Land & Water Services Ltd. The initial contract
from December 2010 to March 2015, will run up to and beyond the launch of the new waterways charity which is scheduled to take over the custodianship of BW’s canals and rivers in 2012.
Increasing the forecast spend on dredging in each of the next two financial years to £5m, the award of a single national contract to Land & Water will allow BW to deliver more dredging for the investment available. Whilst still to be finalised, 2011 dredging priorities are likely to include the Leeds & Liverpool Canal between Farnhill and Bingley, stretches of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal and the Aylesbury Arm of The Grand Union Canal.
Ian Marmont, national dredging manager at BW, comments: “Funding in the public and charitable sectors over the next few years is going to be particularly tight and we must ensure that we get the absolute maximum benefit from the money available. With plans to prioritise spend on dredging in each of the next two years, this national contract with Land & Water is welcome news for the waterways and those that use and enjoy them.”
James Maclean, Managing Director of Land & Water Services Ltd comments: “This single-source contract award is a reflection of the long-term partnership we have been developing and investing in with British Waterways for more than 15 years. We have always believed in the philosophy of ‘working together’ and we welcome the incentives in our new contract to find ever-greater efficiencies, increase recycling opportunities, and reduce the environmental impact of our joint operations. This longer-term commitment provides us with a trigger for further investment in vessels and technologies that will ultimately benefit the UK’s canals and rivers in the longer term. We are grateful indeed for this opportunity.”
David Fletcher NABO Chair said," We welcome any announcement that may improve the ways that dredging is carried out, however we hope that this does not mean BW will fail in areas with localised problems".