Newsletter Archive

Issue 328 - February 1999

Previous Issue
January 1999
Current Newsletter
This month's Newsletter
Archive Index
Archive Index
Next Issue
March 1999

CYCLING PROPOSALS FOR K&A CANAL

Next Article
Next Article

British Waterways has recently requested comments regarding its proposals to provide facilities for increased levels of cycling on the Kennet & Avon Canal. This consultation has been initiated separately from the recent draft Kennet & Avon Canal Conservation Plan published by the Kennet & Avon Canal Partnership (in which BW is a partner). IWA has responded to British Waterways, setting out a number of concerns.

The Association's initial concern is that the cycling proposals are being addressed in a separate consultation, when the issue is covered in greater depth within the Kennet & Avon Conservation Plan. The proposals include the incorporation of lengths of towing path into Sustrans' National Cycle Network (NCN).

In order for Sustrans to qualify for National grants to cover the work (which would, understandably, be attractive for BW) the improvements must be complete by Easter 2000 - which may be too short a time-scale if the proposals were fully considered as part of the Kennet & Avon Canal Partnership's Conservation Plan only.

IWA has informed BW of its belief that consultation on the proposals is being 'rushed through' so that works can be completed on time - but at the potential expense of full and proper consideration and mitigation of the potential conflicts that are likely to be created.

IWA's other concerns centre on safety, amenity and user conflict issues. The Association's policy regarding cycling on towing paths states that a four metre wide hard surfaced track should be provided, with the two metres nearest the waters' edge reserved for pedestrians, anglers etc, only. Where these dimensions cannot be accommodated by the existing path, IWA believes the cycle path should be accommodated elsewhere.

IWA is particularly concerned that many of the proposals are for a two metre wide mixed use path with no user segregation. The Association believes that this will increase danger to pedestrians, there will be problems in policing the speed of cyclists and their use of non-designated stretches of the towing path and also that the rural ambience of the canal may be threatened if vegetation is removed to accommodate a wider, hard surfaced path.

IWA also emphasised the need for a cycling permit scheme (already included within the price of a BW boat licence) to ensure that cyclists contribute towards the maintenance costs of the path, but pointed out that there may be problems in policing compliance with this. There is also potential for further conflict as the Association understands that access to the National Cycling Network does not at present require any permit.

IWA has requested the provision of more detailed supporting information regarding the scheme before it is taken any further.

IWA Head Office Bulletin - January 1999


CANAL SUPPORTERS LOBBY GOVERNMENT

Top of Page
Top of Page
Next Article
Next Article

Campaigners promoting the restoration of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals - due to be severed by the Birmingham Northern Relief Road - have renewed calls on Government to review the decision not to provide a navigable culvert and aqueduct for the canals when the road is built. The Minister for Waterways, Alan Meale MP, has promised to consider a new paper put forward by leading campaigner, Chris Coburn, who met the minister at the recent International Boat Show in London.

The Public Inquiry into the road, held in 1994-5, gave support to almost all requests by the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust that the structures required to permit the restored Canals to cross the route of the BNRR should be provided by the developers. The Public Inquiry Inspector advised that substantial weight be attached to the Local Plan policies supporting restoration and that non-provision "would substantially prejudice the canal restoration".

Since Secretary of State John Prescott made the decision to reject the clear recommendations of the Inspector and authorise the road's construction without a requirement for the developers to provide the necessary structures, waterways enthusiasts have been left sickened by the Government's indifference.

Sustained attempts by campaigners to lobby Government have been facelessly parried away by statements that a "statutory decision" had been taken which could "not be altered". At the same time, the Government continues to state that it is "keen to exploit the enormous potential of the waterways, not only for the contribution that they can make to an integrated transport system, but also as a catalyst for urban and rural regeneration and for stimulating leisure and tourism". In requiring that the necessary structures be put in place, the Government would have to commit no extra public funds as the scheme is to be entirely funded from private sources.

Thanks to relentless campaigning, however, there may be a small chance for a reprieve. Chris Coburn reminded the Government in a letter to Lord Whitty, the Minister for Roads, that "future generations will either view your decision as:

Earlier, IWA's National Chairman, Richard Drake, and Executive Director, Neil Edwards, met the Minister amongst a delegation of waterway user groups and lobbied the same point, reminding the Minister of unfulfilled promises from his predecessors to produce binding Government Policy that would safeguard future waterways under restoration from future road construction.

Richard Drake said today, "In future our descendants will ask 'why did they block that vital canal route with a motorway?' What will we be able to tell them? There is no reasonable explanation. We sincerely hope that the Government recognises this error of judgement and has the courage to put it right. If the BNRR goes ahead as planned, it will be a sad reminder to future generations of how not to do things."

IWA Press Release - 26/01/99


January Meeting

Previous Article
Previous Article
Top of Page
Top of Page
Next Article
Next Article

Mild but unpredictable weather made travel to the January meeting easier than in some previous years; also by January 7th most of the members had had time to recover from their New Year's hangovers. Coupled with the fact that John Silman was our speaker, a good sized audience turned up on the night. On previous occasions, at least four, John has proved to be an extremely interesting speaker and his talk "The History of Water Mills and Windmills" was true to form.

We learned how both types of mill developed over the years and also many of the technicalities regarding building, working and maintenance. John showed some slides of local historic pictures and it was interesting to note changes that have taken place in locations that we know.

As with canals, there are mill restorations taking place, often with a lot of volunteer effort and it is good to know that even if the machinery will sometimes not be working, at least the buildings will be there to help preserve and improve many a scene.

We left the meeting knowing a lot more about mills and milling and no doubt most of us will be keeping our eyes open for these distinctive features when we are out and about in likely situations.


INLAND WATERWAYS INTERNATIONAL

Previous Article
Previous Article
Top of Page
Top of Page
Next Article
Next Article

Over the years, in addition to British waterways, we have had talks on canals and rivers in Ireland, USA, Canada, China, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and maybe other countries. You will agree, a very international scene! I am a member of Inland Waterways International, a society with similar aims to the Inland Waterways Association, but on worldwide basis. As with our own waterways, there are many places in the world where publicity, restoration etc are needed and this young society is doing its best to begin filling the gap. If anyone would like to know more, I would be pleased to give them information and show them copies of our magazine "World Wide Waterways".

Annegret Evans


"Members' Slides Evening

Previous Article
Previous Article
Top of Page
Top of Page
Next Article
Next Article

Please remember that you will have the opportunity of showing some of your slides at the March meeting. You should put together between 10 and 20 pictures that might be of interest to other members. To help with the organisation, please let Eric Lewis know your intention by the February meeting.


Le Canal de Berry

Previous Article
Previous Article
Top of Page
Top of Page
Next Article
Next Article

I recently purchased a new book from France entitled "Le Canal de Berry" by René Chambareau and Christelle Jamot-Robert.

Knowing that we have Francophiles among our SCS members, I will bring my copy along to the February and March meetings for anyone interested to inspect.

Should anyone wish to purchase a copy, it can be obtained for 110 French Francs from Musée du Canal de Berry, René Chambareau, Les Vignauds, 03190 REUGNY, FRANCE.

Cheques should be made payable to:
Amicale laique de Reugny. CCP 937 49H Clermont Fd.

Brian Evans


Bits and Pieces

Previous Article
Previous Article
Top of Page
Top of Page
 

Did you see? Eric Lewis had an article published in the December 1998 issue of Canal & Riverboat about the Itchen Navigation. Well done.

IWA Avon & Wilts Branch AGM - This is to be held at the Swan Inn, Stoford (on A36 Warminster road about 5 miles NW of Salisbury city centre) on Saturday 20 March 1999. To be followed by buffet then skittles. Buffet (£6.00) to be booked by 6th March. Contact Tony Fry on 01722 710192.

IWA Solent and Arun Branch AGM - This will held on SS Shieldhall, Ocean Village, Southampton on Sunday 21 March 1999 at 2.00pm. Tea and cakes will be available. The meeting will be followed by a guided tour of the ship. All most welcome.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal - The well known visitor centre at Tunnel End Cottages in Marsden at the north eastern end of Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal has closed as the lease on the buildings held by Kirklees Council from BW ran out at the end of December and is not being renewed. The cottages will remain closed whilst work on the tunnel is in progress, but will eventually become incorporated in 'The Standedge Experience', along with the nearby warehouse, upon re-opening of the tunnel.

River Wey & Godalming Navigations - A major restoration of Millmead Lock, Guildford will mean its closure to navigation for a period of 8 weeks between 2nd April and 26th May.

Wey & Arun Canal - Wey & Arun Canal Trust have signed a lease for nearly a mile of the canal at Dunsfold from British Aerospace. The section of canal runs alongside the south eastern boundary of Dunsfold Aerodrome and the line of the canal was largely cleared by a series of winter Canal Camps about 5 years ago. The intention of the Trust is to dredge this section of canal and bring it back into service. Ownership of this part of the canal passed to the operators of Dunsfold Aerodrome when it was built by the Canadian Airforce during World War II.


Send your comments to the Web Site manager (Peter Oates)

© Southampton Canal Society 1999 - 2003. Except where otherwise indicated, information on these pages may be reproduced provided permission is obtained from the Web Site manager beforehand and due acknowledgement made to the Society.

Page created 20 May 2003 - layout changes 7 December 2003

  Previous Issue
January 1999
Top of Page
Top of Page
Archive Index
Archive Index
Next Issue
March 1999

This page is valid XHTML 1.0