Second Lords reading for Middle Level Bill

Popham's Eau meets Middle Level Main Drain Popham's Eau meets Middle Level Main Drain. Image courtesy of Dr Charles Nelson/ Geograph (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The Middle Level Bill to give the Middle Level river system navigation authority additional powers will be read by the House of Lords for a second time on 22nd March.

The Private Members Bill, which would give the Middle Level Commissioners (MLC) income generating powers, better waterway management powers and increased provision of facilities and moorings in line with other navigation authorities, had its third reading in the House of Commons on 28th February and its first reading in the House of Lords the following day.

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) said it “welcomes the positive progress of the Bill through Parliament, as it will enable the Commissioners to levy charges in respect of vessels using the Middle Level waterways, including the ability to charge where vessels overstay time limits in force at a mooring place.”

Insurance enforcement

The Bill would also enable the removal of sunken, stranded and abandoned vessels and legally bind vessels using the Commissioners’ waterways to holding insurance and to comply with the Boat Safety Scheme.

The Middle Level river system comprises 100 miles of navigable waterways in Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough City Council) and Norfolk.

The petitioning period in the Lords runs until 12th March and that will be followed by the second hearing, with possibly an opposed Bill Committee stage after that.  Royal Assent is expected by the end of the year.

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