Inland waterways in England re-open

The Norfolk Broads Photo: flickr The Norfolk Broads Photo: flickr

Inland waterways around England are welcoming back boaters following easing of the COVID-19 restrictions.

The Broads Authority and Canal & River Trust have both issued guidance following confirmation from Defra that sailing, canoeing and paddle-boating can resume along with privately-owned powered boats.

John Packman, chief executive of the Broads Authority, explained that boaters were able to return to the Broads thanks to ongoing maintenance throughout the lockdown period. “I want to thank our private boat owners who have continued to pay their tolls during a period when they were not able to enjoy the Broads,” he said. “It is because of this that we were able to continue the essential work needed to enable their safe return."

The Broads Authority is advising that, as well as enjoying day trips, owners may also visit their boats for leisure or to do maintenance but reminds boaters that they are not permitted to stay overnight away from their usual residence.

Plan ahead

The authority urges owners to play ahead, check in advance which facilities will be available and to adhere to social distancing regulations at all times.

The Canal & River Trust has issued a statement advising that private boaters may now undertake short day trips, avoiding the use of locks and staff-operated structures were possible. From 23 May mooring exemptions will come to an end and the trust expects all navigations to re-open in full, with some possible local exceptions, from 1 June.

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