Crackdown on speeding boats

Published: Friday, 10 July 2009

NOT ALAS British Waterways taking notice of the many complaints of speeding boats on the canals, but the Environment Agency launching a crackdown on the Nene.

And not because of complaints from moored boaters either, but because speeding boats could upset the fishermen in Tacklefest, a big angling event.

It is not however the normal fast boat having little care for those moored, but speed boats that have taken to the river around Peterborough, and even people on jet skis racing on the waterway.

This weekend, more than 8,000 visitors are expected over the weekend in the city for the annual Tacklefest competition, the biggest angling event in the calendar.

So in an effort to protect the event the Environment Agency has warned it will adopt a zero tolerance policy to speedsters  on the river over the weekend, with even its officers on patrol on the waterways in the enforcement boat, Challenger, in a bid to protect the anglers.

Angling spokesman Ken Wade stated:

"We have two world champions and a European champion competing in the event, not to mention the big crowds who will be watching. The Nene is a place we should all be able to share and enjoy, but it is surely no place for powerful jet-skis and speed boats. It's a major accident waiting to happen."

The speedboats have been seen racing three abreast down the river near Orton, with the wake they create battering the sides of the river.

A spokesman for The Environment Agency, told it has received numerous complaints from the public and anglers, and it was well aware of the problem.