East Lon­don opens up

BOW BACK RIVERS

Canal Boat - - News -

FOUR YEARS AF­TER the Lon­don Olympics, the for­merly ob­scure wa­ter­ways which threaded their way through the site are to be re-opened to boats as the cen­tre­piece of a ma­jor re­gen­er­a­tion scheme.

Of­ten re­ferred to as the Bow Back Rivers, the net­work of old mill-streams and tidal creeks had largely silted up and be­come al­most un­nav­i­ga­ble by the 1980s. Work to ex­clude tidal wa­ter from parts of the sys­tem in the 1990s im­proved the state of the cir­cuit formed by the City Mill River, Old River Lee and St Thomas’ Creek; but what re­ally trans­formed the wa­ter­ways was work for the Olympics, which saw the new Three Mills Lock built, City Mill Lock re­stored and the Wa­ter­works River made non-tidal.

How­ever, the on­go­ing Olympic Legacy work plus Cross­rail con­struc­tion kept the sys­tem shut off to vis­it­ing boats. That will change this sum­mer, with the nav­i­ga­ble cir­cuit ex­pected to re-open to gen­eral nav­i­ga­tion, plus ac­cess to Wa­ter­works River by book­ing.

For the fu­ture, a Frame­work Doc­u­ment launched by the Canal & River Trust and Lon­don Legacy De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion fore­sees the restora­tion of Car­pen­ter’s Road Lock cre­at­ing an­other cir­cuit, along with new moor­ings, trip boats, small boat hire, trade boats and tow­path links, as part of re­gen­er­a­tion of the area. You can down­load the doc­u­ment at canal­rivertrust.org.uk.

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