Memorandum by the Inland Waterways Association
OPPORTUNITIES AND DEVELOPMENT PROSPECTS AT
The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) is a
registered charity, founded 1946 and campaigns for the conservation,
use, maintenance, restoration and development of the inland waterways.
It has about 17,000 members whose interests include boating, towpath
walking, industrial archaeology, nature conservation and many
other activities associated with canals and navigable rivers.
The Inland Waterways Association is also concerned to promote
the use of inland waterways for their original purpose, the carriage
of freight. This response is submitted on behalf of the Association's
Council and committee members and concentrates on issues that
were specified in the inquiry notice dated 14 December 2000.
All ports, not just the major ports are vital
to the UK economy. Those ports located on inland waterways have
an important role to play.
Whilst competition between ports is inevitable
and should be encouraged, better co-operation especially between
ports situated on the same waterway, or estuary leading to the
waterway, could have increased benefits for the environment. The
maximum inland penetration of cargoes should be encouraged. Working
together such ports can be invaluable to the Government's Integrated
The safety of operations and the training of
employees within all areas of a port is a most important aspect
of safety. The industry should co-operate fully so as to provide
first class training at the most economical costs.
The rail and waterway system transport links
to ports should be maintained and their use encouraged. Consideration
should be given to expansion of such links where possible and
no existing rail or waterway links should be eroded.
The involvement of the Regional Development
Agencies in planning guidance should be to encourage the use of
waterways and to protect cargo-handling wharves together with
potential sites for modal interchange of cargo.
The historic heritage should be preserved wherever
possible and uses found for the most important buildings or structures
within a port, unless that area is of strategic importance to
the future operation of the port.
Recreation, whether sport or informal, should
be allowed in such areas as it can be accommodated without hindrance
to the port operation. Where appropriate, the passage of pleasure
craft should be catered for within the ports operation policy.
The extension of Freight Facility Grants to
Ports must be carefully drafted and administered in order that
coastal ports do not take cargoes which could otherwise travel
further inland by waterway. Otherwise this could increase the
lorry miles in that locality.
The classification of Trans European Network
ports that are situated upon a waterway with an inland classification
should give that waterway Trans European Network status as well.
The Inland Waterways Association welcomes the
Government's announcement that it well set up an inland waterways
freight study group and will be pleased to support and assist
this study group to the best of its ability, through the Association's
Inland Shipping Group.
A copy of the Association's "UK Freight
WaterwaysA Blueprint for the Future", published in
1996, is attached for the committee's reference.