On 20 November 2001, the National Association of Boat Owners(NABO) reported a press release confirming that the Government had decided that the Environment Agency (EA) should retain responsibility for navigation on the rivers under its control and not transfer them to British Waterways.

Some 16 years later, NABO again wrote to MPs that sit on the All Party Parliamentary Group for Waterways, expressing concern and opposition to the Canal and River Trust’s (CRT) proposal to take over responsibility for EA navigations.

NABO is pleased to learn that in January 2018 the Government has again decided not to proceed with this transfer.  Hopefully, both the CRT and EA management teams will now be exclusively focussed on improving the navigations under their control to benefit all users, as recommended by NABO.

Dear National Navigation User Forum Members,

Over the past few years we’ve had fruitful and positive discussions with the Canal & River Trust and Government about whether, and if so under what terms, the Environment Agency’s navigation responsibilities might be transferred to the Trust. 

CRT recently submitted their proposed terms for taking over our navigation responsibilities to Government. Ministers have considered the proposals and decided not to proceed with any transfer at the present time; however, they wish to keep the option open and return to it when they feel the time is right.

We in the Environment Agency will continue to concentrate on ensuring we run our navigations as efficiently as possible, including looking at new ways to raise revenue and engaging with our boating customers over our charges review.  We and CRT will continue to cooperate actively in the running of our respective navigations to ensure the best possible experience for all river and canal users.

Kind Regards

Mark Ormrod

E&B Manager, Navigation

CRT equality policy

In October, CRT published its policy to promote equality for people with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 and its approach to making reasonable adjustments to remove disadvantages for disabled people in accessing and using its waterways. The policy ensures that CRT:

§       Provides equality, fairness and respect concerning all aspects of its customer service delivery;

§       Does not unlawfully discriminate on the grounds of the Act’s protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender and sexual orientation;

§       Opposes and avoids all forms of unlawful discrimination.

To: Canal & River Trust acting as Trustee of the Waterways Infrastructure Trust; F.A.O. Jeff Peake, Estates Department, Aqua House, 20 Lionel Street, Birmingham, B3 1QA.

Dear Sirs

Re: Dispose of freehold interest in Blowers Green Pumphouse, Peartree Lane, Dudley, West Midlands

In response to your recent public notice for the purposes of Section 121 of The Charities Act 2011, we write to formally object to the above disposal.

Reservoir levels

As summer approaches, the number of boat movements increases, as does the drawdown on reservoirs. The mix of dry sunny spells and wet periods during March meant that overall rainfall was near average for the month. However, there were regional variations, and the north-west had over 140% of long-term average (LTA) rainfall, but a large area of the south-east saw less than 70% of LTA. The Easter weekend saw marked increases in boating and consequent lock usage, and reservoir drawdown was evident across the system, with all but one reservoir group showing a reduction in the volume of stored water.