Boost for British Waterways’ property portfolio

Following the IWA’s campaign to protect BW’s assets from being sold, an Early Day Motion has been tabled

The IWA’s campaign to lobby MPs against the sell-off of British Waterways’ (BW) property portfolio, as reported on last week, has gained momentum with an Early Day Motion being tabled.

There has been growing speculation over the last few weeks that the government is gearing up to announce plans to sell-off parts of BW’s property portfolio in the Pre-Budget Report, due on 9 December.

BW earns almost half of its maintenance budget through its 1400 canalside properties and it says it would not be able to maintain the same levels of service without this income. The government refuses to be drawn on the subject and many take this silence as a sign that it is planning to sell off at least some properties.

Last week the Inland Waterways Association launched a campaign urging boaters to lobby MPs against the suspected sell-off. A petition was set up and, as a result, Bob Laxton MP, of the all-party Parliamentary Waterways Group, has tabled an Early Day Motion on the inland waterways and funding.