More K& A fa­cil­i­ties needed

Canal Boat - - Letters - R MOULES, via email

I AND MY FAM­ILY, two boats in com­pany, have just re­turned from a trip on the eastern end of the Ken­net & Avon Canal. The canal passes through at­trac­tive coun­try­side and the nav­i­ga­tion is well main­tained, how­ever the banks of the nav­i­ga­tion are gen­er­ally ‘ soft’ and shal­low, with­out the ex­ten­sive piling which is com­mon on other canals. This means moor­ing is very dif­fi­cult, and yet there are few of­fi­cial moor­ing points, and those which do ex­ist are usu­ally full. Does CRT have any plans to pro­vide more? The sit­u­a­tion is of­ten ex­ac­er­bated by thought­less boaters who leave large ‘ gaps’ be­tween boats, so re­strict­ing the num­ber of boats which can moor. Our other ‘ beef’ was the lack of wa­ter and refuse dis­posal points. New­bury, the largest town we passed through, had none that we could find, nor had vil­lages like Thatcham. Surely CRT should en­sure ad­e­quate pro­vi­sion for the many boaters who are at­tracted to this wa­ter­way? Mark Evans, CRT Wa­ter­way Man­ager, replies: “There are a num­ber of short- stay visi­tor moor­ings at the eastern end and we are keen to make sure these are avail­able to use by as many boaters as pos­si­ble. Last year, the Trust re­cruited vol­un­teer moor­ing rangers on the western end of the K& A to help us mon­i­tor use of the short- stay moor­ings and we are look­ing at the pos­si­bil­ity of re­cruit­ing vol­un­teers to help us with this task on the eastern end, too. “While there cur­rently aren’t any plans to cre­ate ad­di­tional visi­tor moor­ings on the eastern end, we will be car­ry­ing out work this win­ter to up­grade the visi­tor moor­ings at Pewsey Wharf. “Wher­ever pos­si­ble, we aim to make sure there are fa­cil­i­ties avail­able for boaters within a four- hour cruise time, how­ever these fa­cil­i­ties may not al­ways be pro­vided by the Trust but by other op­er­a­tors. In sev­eral places on the K& A we have to ne­go­ti­ate with pri­vate land own­ers to agree to lo­cate or al­low ac­cess for refuse lor­ries. This can re­strict where we are able to lo­cate waste fa­cil­i­ties. “I’m pleased to re­port that waste fa­cil­i­ties were re­cently re- in­stalled at De­vizes Wharf and the san­i­tary sta­tion at Al­der­marston will be re- open­ing soon. I am happy to look at re­quests for ad­di­tional fa­cil­i­ties and, where pos­si­ble, will try to make them hap­pen.”

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