Pennine Waterways News

Monday 1 June 2009

BW Re-organisation - Have Your Say!

It was reported here in April that British Waterways was proposing to restructure its operations in England and Wales.

BW is asking for comments on this restructuring. Submissions to this consultation are invited up until 6th July 2009.

A pdf document "Consultation Document on Proposed New BW Boundaries" can be found here. This includes a Response Form for your thoughts. The form only concerns itself with boundary points between the areas and the names of the new areas. However, it invites you to append any other comments on a separate sheet.

If you would like to respond online, you can download a Word version of the Response Form, which can be returned as an email attachment to

Extract from BW map of proposed new units

For the area covered by Pennine Waterways website, the proposed changes would result in smaller North West and Yorkshire units, based at the existing Wigan and Leeds offices, and a new Peak and Pennine unit, which could include the Huddersfield Narrow, Rochdale and Peak Forest Canals, based at Northwich (see map extract).

BW says that the 11 proposed waterway units, to take effect from October 2009, will deliver improved levels of efficiency and customer service. In the revised structure, certain functions which fall outside of day-to-day maintenance, such as managing moorings, developing partnerships and carrying out major engineering projects, will be undertaken by specialist centralised teams.

BW's Simon Salem comments: "Each waterway unit is intended to be similar in length and with a similar number of physical structures. Beyond that, optimising water control and supply has been a major factor influencing proposed boundaries and we've also tried to reflect local authority and regional development agency administrative areas."

"The aim of the restructure is to achieve greater operating efficiency and, although boundaries between one waterway unit and another should be seamless, boat owners and boating trade customers in particular may wish to have a say in the final boundary decisions. This includes whether the locations of the boundaries are appropriate, plus any suggestions for the naming of particular waterway groupings."

More information about BW's proposals can be found on its website, here:
The document "Twenty Twenty - a Vision for for the Future of our Canals and Rivers" can be downloaded here.

A short report will be published following the consultation summarising the feedback received and any changes to the boundaries made as a result.

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