British Waterways report widely welcomed

British Waterways and the Inland Waterways Association support EFRA's findings

Both British Waterways (BW) and the Inland Waterways Association (IWA ) have welcomed the findings of the follow-up inquiry by the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee into British Waterways and waterways restoration, following BW’s decision to pull out of the Cotswold Canal Partnership.

Speaking of the Committee’s finding that canal restoration has little direct benefit to BW and therefore it should not be expected to bear all the risks and costs, BW’s chairman, Tony Hales said, “The Committee’s main conclusion that the bodies which benefit most from waterway restoration should also bear the risks involved goes to the heart of the matter.”

The IWA echoed this sentiment and said it appreciates the risks have to be spread more widely among the public sector that benefit from the restoration of our waterways. It now hopes the report from the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) into the interdepartmental working group set up by the Waterways Minister, which will look at cross-departmental funding, will find a sustainable way of funding the waterways that will be of a benefit to everyone.

John Fletcher, national chairman of IWA says, “I welcome the recognition that more funding is required and that other public departments which benefit, ought to pay their fair share not just for the upkeep of the waterways but importantly for their restoration.”

View the full EFRA Select Committee’s report on British Waterways and waterways restoration