CRT backs down over so-called River Lea ‘safety zones’

The climbdown response on 1st September 2021 by Canal & River Trust (CRT) to the stakeholder engagement with respect to the River Lee Water Safety Zones, carried out by Hopkins Van Mil, represents a massive victory for the boating community of London, said the NBTA’s London branch, which made the following statement:

Supported and facilitated by NBTA London, boaters in London came together to organise against CRT’s attempts to remove hundreds of casual moorings on the River Lee. In a little over six months Bargee Travellers and their supporters have succeeded in forcing CRT to abandon tits draconian proposals to make life on the Lee more challenging for boaters.

Through a campaign which included leafleting boaters and non-boaters on the towpath, two flotillas in Broxbourne and Hackney, one of which saw over fifty boats cruising the Lee between Clapton and Hackney Wick, and coverage in national and local press, we have highlighted the negative impact of CRT’s unreasonable and misguided proposals on our community. As the result of our actions, CRT has retracted its proposals for the “safety zones”. NBTA London would like to congratulate the hundreds of boaters from London and around the country who have contributed to this victory.

CRT still believes that the ‘safety zones’ are necessary in some form or another, so our work on this is not necessarily finished. But now it knows our community has the taste of success in this campaign and we shall not just stand by while they make any new attempts to introduce measures which will have a negative effect on our community.

The full engagement report by Hopkins Van Mil can be found here:

CRT’s response to the stakeholder engagement can be found here: