CRT’s review of visitor moorings between Devizes and Reading has now finished and the proposals for change have been finalised. A 12-month trial/ consultation period has begun. If any changes have an adverse effect on liveaboard boaters it’s really important that we make this clear to CRT. Send your comments to CRT or make a formal complaint.
Address comments and complaints to email@example.com and copy them to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Dale Marshall, Customer Operations Manager, Canal & River Trust, The Locks, Bath Road, Devizes SN10 1QR.
It is clear from the final report on the 2015 review of visitor moorings west of Devizes that unless boaters give their feedback and if possible include alternative proposals, any changes will become permanent after the 12 month trial, so make sure that CRT knows what you think and how the changes will affect you.
Lobbying by the K&A Boaters’ Action Group, the NBTA and other liveaboard boaters has in principle established that for every 1 metre of moorable 14 day space lost to 72/48/24 hour moorings, 1.5 metres of new 14 day mooring space will be created by improvements to the bank. This was proposed by boaters as policy that should be applied nationally. It remains to be seen whether CRT will follow through on this.
The major changes proposed are:
Creating 48 hour visitor moorings east and west of the winding hole at Allington; this was lobbied for very strongly by the hire boat companies so that day boats from Devizes could have somewhere to moor where they turn round.
Extending the visitor moorings east of All Cannings bridge and to compensate, improving the bank to the east to make extra moorable 14-day space.
Creating 48 hour visitor moorings immediately east and west of Wilcot bridge, despite there being no real demand for visitor moorings at Wilcot due to deep water and ease of mooring.
Reversing the locations of the permanent moorings and visitor moorings at Wootton Rivers, with visitor moorings being moved to below lock 51 (where there is a water tap) and boats being asked not to go up through the locks if they are turning at Wootton Rivers winding hole below lock 51. This is to alleviate the problem of the short pound between locks 51 and 52 draining frequently due to lock use.
Turning part of the popular 14 day spot above lock 69 at Froxfield into 48 hour moorings and compensating by improving the bank for 14 day mooring above lock 68.
Creating visitor moorings below lock 70 for access to The Pelican at Froxfield.
Considerable changes are proposed for Hungerford including piling the 14 day section between the church visitor moorings and the church swing bridge and making it 48 hours; and piling the existing 48 hour moorings on the towpath side below lock 74.
Creating a 48 hour mooring above Hamstead lock.
The towpath at the former ABC Leisure/ Reading Marine site at Aldermaston Wharf, which has been used for permanent moorings, will become half 14 day moorings and half 48 hour moorings. The rest of the old Reading Marine site is to be developed for housing.
Not all changes will be implemented at once as some proposals are not in the current budget and CRT will have to find funding.
Extra facilities are also proposed but this depends on funding being available. One proposal is for a water tap below County Lock in Reading, where there are no public boater facilities at all. CRT also proposes to spend £60,000 on installing a sanitary station at Newbury Wharf and this is now included in the budget.
CRT has continued the BW practice of designating 14 day ‘informal moorings’ on the K&A. These are small areas of bank where there is enough depth of water for mooring and CRT cuts the vegetation to make it easier to moor. These areas will now be designated with red posts.
Most of the user groups on the K&A were represented during the review. Six meetings were held between August 2017 and June 2018. There were three representatives of liveaboard boaters on the consultation panel plus a NABO representative; three people from hire boat companies and boating businesses; representatives of anglers and Wiltshire Council; members of the K&A Waterway Partnership; and CRT staff.
You can download the final version of the proposals here:
Here are some brief notes from the final meeting on 25th June 2018 VM Review meeting notes June 25th 2018
Here is the 2015 pilot review report from the visitor mooring review between Bath and Devizes 14-10-2015 K&A Visitor Mooring (west) Review – pilot review report