11 October 2022

Canal & River Trust is currently consulting on the provision of facilities for boaters, aiming to establish the baseline minimum services that users require. In doing so, they have drawn on the “Gaptracker” survey carried out by IWA in 2018 (and the subsequent report on the findings). Ahead of the launch we met with the Trust to discuss the findings from our report and how they could be used to inform their facilities consultation.

In our report we made several recommendations on the provision of customer service facilities for boaters:

Water points, rubbish disposal points including recycling points, portable chemical toilet disposal points and electricity (shore power mains connection charging sites) at the following frequencies:

        – Every 5 hours of cruising across most of the inland waterways system, including between waterways managed by neighbouring navigation authorities

        – Every 2 hours of cruising in London and other urban areas with large numbers of residential boats on unserviced moorings.

Pump out facilities at regular intervals, ideally provided by boatyards, marinas and other third-party providers. Where there are gaps of more than 10 hours of cruising then navigation authorities should encourage third party provision and where this fails, should provide DIY pump out facilities, or portable chemical toilet disposal points should be suitable for the use of boat-based DIY pump out equipment.

Recycling points at the majority of rubbish disposal points, as recycling is currently seriously under-catered for and when cruising accessing recycling points away from the water is not always practical or possible. IWA recognises that boaters will only be encouraged to separate items for recycling if there are frequent recycling points and their location is known. As recycling policies and the colour coding of bins vary from place to place, clear information about what can and cannot be recycled will be needed.

Our full report can be found here.

We are pleased that Canal & River Trust are using IWA’s recommendations and proposing that, as a minimum provision, the following facilities should be provided by the Trust approximately 5 cruising hours apart (shorter in very busy areas e.g. London).

– Water points

– Elsan points

– Refuse/recycling points

We encourage those who use Canal & River Trust’s waterways to complete the facilities consultation, which can be found here. We will also continue to campaign for other navigation authorities to adopt our recommendations.