The Trust has explained how it plans to go about increasing the number of available mooring spots in London

The Canal & River Trust has responded to the latest waterways report from the London Assembly, which concludes that additional mooring spots are sorely needed in the capital.

CRT has claimed that it is looking into a number of initiatives to improve the supply and management of moorings in London.

These include developing practical guidance on creating affordable residential moorings and working with the Metropolitan Police to improve mooring security.

New opportunities in the Docklands and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are also mentioned as potential solutions for the paucity of moorings.

The London Assembly report explained that a general shortage of housing in the capital has led to an increase in houseboaters, which has had the knock-on effect of reducing the number of available mooring spots for leisure boaters to use.

Green Party member and narrowboater Baroness Jenny Jones led the team that compiled the ‘Moor or Less’ report, which was released last November, and their findings suggested that as many as 10,000 people currently live on London waterways.

The report called on the CRT to respond to the urgent need to “help address hotspots of overcrowding”, with some areas seeing a doubling of popularity in the past three years and boats moored up to four deep.

Of the 578 long-term moorings in the Greater London area, only four are currently unoccupied and all of them are well outside central London, according to the CRT.

London Assembly suggestions to free up more space and improve facilities included wider provision of mooring rings, soft verges and bollards in areas that aren’t currently used for mooring, as well as a review of lighting and general waterside facilities.

Early progress

Whilst the CRT agreed with the report’s broad conclusions in its response, the Trust pointed out that it is already delivering on a number of these recommendations.

A three-year Towpath Mooring Management project plans to add 20 new long-term moorings before 2016 and has added 40 more casual sites in the past 12 months, with new rings installed in Paddington, Hackney and Bow.

Despite this progress, the CRT insisted that the cooperation of planning authorities will be needed to properly solve the London mooring problem.

Richard Parry, chief executive of the CRT, said: “We cannot manage the growth in the waterways’ popularity alone.

“As this is a resource that benefits the whole of London, the Trust needs the support of the Greater London Authority, the fifteen local authorities, and other partners such as the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, to ensure that the potential of the waterways can be fully realised.”