Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by the Association of Thames Yacht Clubs (IW 64)

  The Association of Thames Yacht Clubs (ATYC) represents more than 60 clubs along the non-tidal and tidal River Thames from Lechlade to Southend. The clubs memberships include at least 9,500 individuals.

  We welcome the publication by the Government of Waterways for Tomorrow. It gives Government authority to many points which boating organisations and navigational authorities have been saying for a significant number of years.

  The ATYC regard the River Thames as "the Jewel in the Crown" of the United Kingdom waterways. However, we have consistently expressed our concern that, having freely contributed additional funds through increases in navigational licences towards the cost of capital works on the River Thames, we have seen a steady decline in the maintenance to the detriment of the River as a whole. We are particularly concerned at the growing backlog in maintenance, and the ever increasing danger of accidents.

  The Committee of our Association met on 26 September to consider Waterways for Tomorrow. The members present endorsed the concerns about the level of investment in the River.

  In considering paragraph 5.10 within the document, it was the unanimous view of the meeting that the Association of Thames Yacht Clubs wish to see the transfer of navigational responsibility on the River Thames from the Environment Agency to the British Waterways.

  It was felt that this would enhance the opportunities to develop the navigation through Partnerships and Third Party Funding.

  We would be pleased to expand upon these comments to the Committee if that is appropriate.

Dr M M Warner


27 September 2000

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