Digging deep for the next decade
A TEN-YEAR dredging contract has seen the Canal & River Trust sign up with its existing contractors Land & Water Services to keep the waterways clear of silt right up to the end of the trust’s Government funding agreement in 2027.
The contract follows on from the completion of L&W’s existing two existing agreements with CRT, under which more than £7m worth of dredging was carried out during 2015-16. Land & Water’s Managing Director Adrian Gascoyne said the company was “extremely proud” to have secured the contract, while CRT’s Asset Delivery Director Simon Bamford said the new agreement followed 18 months’ work as the trust “reviewed how we manage our overall dredging programme and looked at how we can improve things”.
On that subject, CRT’s Chief Executive Richard Parry told Canal Boat that he didn’t foresee a repeat of the situation in 2016 when the Staffs & Worcs Canal dredging programme was curtailed after the budget was exhausted due to larger than expected amounts of silt.
Mr Parry said the trust would “make sure whatever needs dredging gets done” if (for example) the same position arose with current work on the Kennet & Avon or Lancaster (pictured) and Ribble Link. He added that he believed that the upward trend of recent years in the cost of dredging had been “capped”, and the long contract enabled the trust to spend on setting up dredging tip sites for the future.