Unlike the K&A, the local authority in Nièvre, France, has closed the towpaths of the Canal du Nivernais, which is twinned with the Kennet and Avon Canal. River towpaths and cycle trails are also closed.
As it happens, we will get it out to you.
CRT has extended the period that boaters can stay on some visitor moorings for 14 days due to the suspension of all but essential boat movements following the Government’s Covid-19 lock-down announcement. Where visitor moorings revert to 14 days in winter, this will now be extended up to 14th April, when CRT will review its suspension of the 14-day rule.
The Boat Safety Scheme is also allowing temporary extension to boat safety certificates for those boats that require an examination in the period up to 14th April. The notice from the Boat Safety Scheme is here NR20-001_COVID-19_BSS_Temporary_Suspension-FINAL
CRT yesterday (24th March 2020) made the decision to close the Caen Hill flight between locks 29 and 44 until further notice as part of its response to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, to protect its staff and ensure they are only sent to deal with the most critical tasks. The last boats were admitted at 10am yesterday.
The K&A is also closed at lock 52 at Wootton Rivers due to a broken gate, until further notice.
On Monday CRT suspended the 14-day rule until 14th April 2020 and boat sightings are not being taken during this period. This will be reviewed in mid-April.
CRT is also telling the public that if they use the towpath for their daily exercise or journey to undertake essential work, to avoid any stretches with boats moored against the towpath, and strictly observe social distancing at all times, following the latest advice from Government.
Julian House Travelling Communities Support Service is setting up a community help plan for liveaboards affected by Covid-19 (coronavirus) between Hanham and Wootton Rivers. They will also make any ideas and resources available so boaters further afield can replicate them. They are looking for willing, healthy community members who can self-organise to support people’s basic needs and give practical help where needed. At the moment they particularly need more volunteers in the Long Pound between Coate Bridge and Wootton Rivers.
CRT confirmed last week that it has no plans to restrict boat movements due to the Covid-19 pandemic but that it will update its advice as and when necessary. A CRT staff member said that the waterways were a relatively low-risk environment as there were very few large gatherings. However, if boaters need to self-isolate and stay longer than 14 days in any one place, CRT confirmed that this would be reasonable in the circumstances.
Friends, Families and Travellers has produced guidance for boaters and other travelling communities on Covid-19, see https://www.gypsy-traveller.org/advice-section/guidance-for-gypsy-traveller-and-liveaboard-boater-communities-on-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR1andeBO2v8OPNgEVpiD5D8If1TgoMP9vO7sIvB8NwRoGu6J1dCd_HUXjU
Julian House Gypsy, Traveller, Boater and Roma Community Support Service is working on an action plan within BaNES and Wiltshire to ensure that everyone on the canal is safe and cared for. You can contact them if you are self-isolating or are concerned about anyone else. Phone or text Alice on 07960 097719 or Emily on 07946 200271 or contact via
Although aimed at the settled community, Wiltshire Council has produced a useful Community Pack about Coronavirus which has some ideas for mutual help within the community that can be adapted to suit boaters. See http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news/articles/covid19-community-pack
Wiltshire Council is consulting on its future Gypsy, Roma, Traveller and Boater (GRT&B) strategy. Please make sure that the voices and views of the liveaboard boater community are heard by completing this online survey by 5pm next Thursday 12th March 2020. The survey is here https://surveys.wiltshire.gov.uk/snapwebhost/s.asp?k=158134588690
The survey asks for your comments on the Council’s draft 2020-25 strategy for the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller and Boater communities in its area. You can download the 14-page draft strategy here Draft-gypsy-roma-traveller-and-boater-strategy-2020-2025-for-wiltshire
Wilcot Parish Council has proposed installing bollards in the lane by the canal to prevent vehicles parking. This is the latest idea by the parish council to stop boaters parking their cars in the lane. It is not clear at present whether the proposal is to prevent parking throughout the lane.
Restricted licence holders can vote in CRT Council election following complaint – vote by 14th FebruaryWednesday, February 5th, 2020
CRT has relented from its decision to bar boaters on restricted 6-month licences from voting in the 2020 CRT Council election following a complaint by the NBTA. Make sure you check your postal address and/or your email as soon as possible, as CRT is not extending the election, which means everyone needs to vote before midnight on Friday February 14th 2020.