Canal & River Trust closes down the waterways

Published: Wednesday, 25 March 2020

A MESSAGE from Richard Parry, Chief Executive Canal & River Trust informs boaters not to travel and continuous cruisers to stay put, telling:

"Following the most recent announcement from the Prime Minister regarding the UK’s response to the coronavirus crisis, we are asking leisure boaters to stop all non-essential travel. As a result, and to help those who live-aboard (along with those who would need to travel to their boat in order to move it) we are suspending the requirement to move every 14 days.  The suspension will be kept under review in line with revised government guidance, applying initially until 14 April."

Virtual standstill

This means the waterways will be at a virtual standstill until further notice, but tells  that  they will 'continue to maintain boater facilities and pump out cards that are available from our online shop', but 'urgently reviewing the implications for face-to-face sale of pump out cards and facilities keys from our public offices'.

However, news is now coming in of many boat yards closing down all their facilities, that will make it extremely difficult for boaters to get essential supplies such as diesel and gas, boaters being completely abandoned.

No post facilities

And how will continuous cruisers get pump-out cards from an online shop where they have no postal address, or likely no post office facilities to collect them?

All boaters that are at present cruising should immediately make their way back to their moorings and stay there.

At least we are told that staff whose roles are critical to the safe management of the waterways will continue their day to day work to keep the waterways functioning.