Float­ing gar­den and wa­ter taxis for Padding­ton

Canal Boat - - News -

A WA­TER TAXI ser­vice, a float­ing park, trade boats and hire craft are promised as part of plans to “bring the wa­ter to life” in Lon­don’s Padding­ton Basin.

Built as the ter­mi­nus of the Grand Union’s Padding­ton Arm, the basin fell out of use in the mid 20th Cen­tury, but has been a cen­tre of re­gen­er­a­tion in re­cent years and is sur­rounded by mod­ern build­ings.

The Canal & River Trust says it now wants to turn it into “an ex­cit­ing hub for boaters, res­i­dents, work­ers and vis­i­tors”. The plans in­clude:

• A free trial wa­ter taxi ser­vice run­ning two days a week for the short dis­tance from Bishop’s Bridge Road (for Padding­ton Sta­tion) to Lit­tle Venice and Mer­chant Square – which if pop­u­lar would be­come per­ma­nent.

• Two elec­tric day-hire boats op­er­ated by Dan­ish com­pany GoBoat, seat­ing eight peo­ple, avail­able from this spring and based at the end of the basin.

• New float­ing traders: a gift and cof­fee shop boat with in­for­ma­tion about the his­tory of the basin, and a float­ing café run by Beany Green.

• A float­ing pocket park in the un­used part at the far end of the basin (which had been ear­marked for busi­ness barges) in­clud­ing lawns, plant­ing and seat­ing plus space for more float­ing traders. Fol­low­ing con­cerns that the float­ing park would rep­re­sent a loss of much-needed moor­ing space in the cap­i­tal, Jon Guest of CRT said: “We’re mak­ing sure we keep plenty of space for vis­it­ing boats.”

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