One Direction in Braunston?

No, not the five-piece boy band that won the X-Factor, but CRT’s announcement to consult on a proposal to ease congestion at one of the waterways most popular locations. The capacity of the canal would be doubled in the summer months by making traffic travel in the same direction between Napton and Norton Junctions: north to south on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and the reverse direction on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The plan would not operate on Sundays to allow weekenders to get back to their marinas, nor during the winter months. The proposed scheme has received a cautious welcome from NABO, with Gen. Sec. Richard Carpenter commenting: “Anything that relieves congestion in this area is to be welcomed”. However, CRT has already had protests from the local branch of the IWA, one of whom was quoted as saying: "Boaters wishing to travel between Napton and Norton Junctions will have a journey of nine miles with six locks on some days and on others a journey via Leicester of 107 miles and 94 locks - the scheme is madness." The consultation runs for three months from April and your views can be made online.

Following further discussions with interested parties including NABO, the Canal and River Trust has today launched its response to the recent consultation on the towpath mooring plan for the K&A Canal west of Devizes. This plan was produced by a sub-group of the Waterways Partnership, building upon work undertaken by an earlier and, unfortunately, abandoned working party in which most boating organisation were involved. NABO has always accepted that CRT has a problem inherited from BW to deal with on this highly congested stretch of the waterway.

"The Canal & River Trust has reluctantly concluded that roving mooring permits, which it was proposing to introduce in two local areas from April 2014, cannot be used to deal with localised issues of mooring congestion on the waterways.  This follows further consideration of legal issues which raised doubts about the practical implications of implementing the scheme. 

NABO has comments on the  Partnership towpath mooring plan for the Kennet and Avon Canal west of Devizes.

The Kennet & Avon Waterway Partnership, based on recommendations from its Local Mooring sub-group, has submitted proposals to the boating team of the Canal & River Trust for further consideration by the CRT Navigation Advisory Group. These proposals support the introduction of a pilot voluntary local agreement between CRT and licence holders in the area between Bath and Devizes. As stated in their report, these “proposals do not seek to interpret the definition of ‘continuous cruising’ but do seek to establish fair and equitable sharing of the canal within the area and establish a process to enable all users to opt in to an agreement which will support this guiding principle. Licence holders who do not opt in to the voluntary agreement would knowingly be bound by standard licensing obligations within this area.”

The Department for Tranport have released the HS2 phase two initial preffered route plans. There are maps providing a detailed depiction of the two routes to West Midlands to Leeds and Manchester.