AIR QUAL­ITY: boats ‘can­not re­main ex­empt’

Canal Boat - - Canal Boat News -

Wa­ter­ways gen­er­ally have a role to play in re­duc­ing air pol­lu­tion; but on the other hand, there are a few places where boats are one of the causes of that pol­lu­tion, and boaters can­not ex­pect to re­main ex­empt from con­trols – ac­cord­ing to the Canal & River Trust’s re­sponse to Gov­ern­ment pro­pos­als for im­prov­ing air qual­ity. CRT says that canals and rivers could help by: • Pro­vid­ing ‘green spa­ces’ of­fer­ing respite for peo­ple liv­ing in pol­luted ur­ban ar­eas • Re­duc­ing pol­lu­tion by mov­ing

jour­neys off the roads

How­ever the Trust also says that “boat de­pen­dence on solid fuel stove and diesel en­gines”, to which there is cur­rently a lack of ‘green’ al­ter­na­tives can make a “small but some­times lo­cally sig­nif­i­cant” con­tri­bu­tion to the prob­lems. CRT is there­fore ar­gu­ing for a “co­her­ent Govern­mentsup­ported ap­proach” to the is­sues, in­clud­ing de­vel­op­ing al­ter­na­tive tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions for re­duced emis­sions and in­cen­tivis­ing their use. How­ever, CRT ac­cepts that such so­lu­tions would “need to take into ac­count the dif­fi­cul­ties boat owners face in mak­ing changes to en­gines and heat­ing meth­ods, par­tic­u­larly when the boat is some­one’s home.”

CRT’s Peter Birch said: “While we agree that ves­sels can­not re­main ex­empt and must play their part in the bat­tle to im­prove air qual­ity, it is es­sen­tial that the needs of boaters are ac­counted for when draft­ing any new leg­is­la­tion.”

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