Update on London mooring strategy

Published: Thursday, 20 April 2017

FOLLOWING a year of working with a wide range of stakeholders, surveying boaters, and physically looking at every inch of the capital’s waterways, Canal & River Trust tells us that it has has developed a set of draft proposals to improve boaters experience of boating in London, and is running a series of focus groups with boaters to help refine the draft proposals.

In March the Trust presented the draft proposals to attendees of the Better Relationship Group that has been a ‘boater sounding board’ through the development of the strategy to test the ideas and get some feedback. The proposals, which tie into the seven objectives of the London Mooring Strategy include increasing the number of boating facilities and managing them better and similarly improving the management and maintenance of short-stay moorings.

Expanding new moorings

The Trust will be expanding the range of new moorings including developing a limited number of short-stay moorings, supporting long-term ‘online offside’ and ‘offline’ moorings in quieter areas, and encouraging the development of long-term moorings from a diverse range of providers. New boating business will be supported, focusing on key London destinations, and winter moorings will continue to be managed and developed with feedback from boaters.

Over the next month the Trust will be running four focus groups across London with a range of boaters. The Trust will be contacting boaters who attended the initial London Mooring Strategy workshop in May 2016, as well as those who took part in last autumn’s ‘Who’s on London’s Boats’ survey, to identify a diverse range of boaters to take part in these focus groups. The draft proposals will be developed following these meetings and the Trust will invite a wider conversation amongst London’s boating community on the final proposals through the late summer and autumn.

Busier than ever

Matthew Symonds, Boating Strategy and Engagement Manager at the Trust, remarked:

“London’s waterways are busier than ever before and it’s crucial that we manage them for the benefit of the wide range of boaters who cruise them. Over the past year we’ve had loads of fantastic ideas and feedback from boaters across the capital and we’ve been successfully building relationships with the partners who can help us turn some of our aspirations into reality.

“There are real opportunities to make London’s canals and rivers the jewel in the capital’s crown, and it’s important that we have the support of the boaters for whom the waterways are a passion and, often, a way of life. Working together we have the chance to make a difference and make things better for everyone who knows and loves the waterways.”

The Trust has been working with various groups, including its Navigation Advisory Group, the London Waterway Partnership, national boating organisations, individual boaters and other key stakeholders such as local authorities.

The development of the London Mooring Strategy is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2017.