Congestion hotspot on canals

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THE Braunston and Napton canal networks have been judged to be one of the three most congested in the country.

The survery by British Waterways into canal congestion has identified the area as a traffic hotspot.

The managing director of Braunston Marina Tim Coghlan said: “I am pleased that at last British Waterways is making some progress on the congestion issue, which until now they have refused to recognise, whereas it has been perfectly obvious to everyone else on the canal.”

It is this survey which, Tim says, casts clouds over plans for a new marina in the Daventry area. This includes the proposed 550-berth marina near to the prison at Onley as well as the canal and WaterSpace plans for Daventry.

Mr Coghlan added: “I do not see how you could add that many more marina berths and for it to not exacerbate this problem. The canal network will simply not cope.

“I think these findings will put both the plans for new marinas in the area in danger. It is a shame because I think the plans for Daventry would really help to rejuvenate the town centre.”

This information will now be made available for planning officials to look at when making decisions about future applications.

Joe Oliver, the man behind the proposed marina at Onley said: “We understand that the British Marine Federation (BMF) has been approached by a number of its members, who own inland marinas, with regard to these marina operators’ views on waterway congestion.

“In response we believe the BMF have issued an internal document consulting with its members on where the members feel such congestion might exist.

“We are not aware that the consultation has been concluded but will be interested to read the results.”