EA waterway 'not fit for purpose'

Published: Thursday, 24 August 2017

THE Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has highlighted the atrocious condition of an Environmental Waterway, calling it 'not fit for purpose'.

It believes that the Old Bedford River, stated as being a statutory navigation by the Environment Agency (EA) is not fully navigable.

Informed the Agency

The Association had informed the Agency well in advance that a cruise was to take place during July on the Old Bedford River and also asked that the local Middle Level Commissioners' lock keeper put more water into the non tidal river which made the normally tricky access from the narrow tidal stream much easier.

But the EA would have none of it, and stated that the proposed cruise be put off until October, but this was not really practicable.

Foul smelling rotten material

However with the help of a lock keeper, a cruiser and a narrowboat attempted the cruise from the tidal river at Salters Lode to the current head of navigation, Welches Dam lock, a distance of 14 miles, with the crews finding a stretch of foul smelling, floating rotting material, through which they proceeded very slowly.

With help from EA staff the narrowboat managed to get through but the cruiser became stuck in the mess and had to be pulled through by the narrowboat.