There are now 4,700 miles of navigable waterways!

Published: Monday, 09 August 2021

THERE has been a gigantic leap in the mileage of our navigable waterways.

From the normal 'around 2,000' to a staggering 4,700, Alan Tilbury reports.

'Bookings swelled'

This is the figure given in the publication New Economy in its report of boating on the canals in its recent issue, it stating: Boat hire firms say that bookings across the country's 4,700 miles (7,500km) of navigable canals and rivers have swelled since the pandemic.

It told that the ABC Leisure Group provides narrow boats for hire from 15 inland marinas across England, Scotland and Wales unsing Canal & River Trust waterway. Managing director Carl Onens says that sales this year and last are 40% higher than in 2019—despite losing the 15-20% of annual bookings it used to get from international customers.

Canal & River Trust

The article also quoted Matthew Symonds, National Boating Manager of the Canal & River Trust, remarking it is vital that people 'listen to the handover instructors', be it regarding the locks or general safety issues.

"It's just about being aware of other people and being considerate. Think of all different users, such as people who live on boats and kayakers."

Where the 4,700 came from is anybody's guess, but it's certainly there to impress!

The article concerned the normal activities of newcomers on the waterways, their enjoyment of their 'adventures' and struggles with locks.