London Mayor wants powers to control boat emissions

Published: Friday, 20 October 2017

THE London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, well known for his anti emissions policy for vehicles, now has his eye on boats using the city's waterways.

He wants government approval for new powers to control emissions from boats using the London waterways, in the form of a body that would set minimum emissions from boats, including their engines, generators and stoves, which could virtually clear the waterways as there is no emissions standard for boat engines, and he has already stated he wants to ban wood burning domestic stoves. This would amount to a devastating impact on the people that use and live on them.

Sadiq KhanEncouraging more boating

Though Canal & River Trust is encouraging more boating in the capital, its latest idea being the installation of more moorings and electric bollards to encourage more continuous cruisers, Sadiq Khan is obviously opposed, wanting a strict emission policy to control all emissions from both engines and stoves, He wants a body which would ‘be able to set minimum emission and other technical standards for specific classes or types of vessels, explaining:

"With ambitious plans in the growth of traffic on waterways, unless sufficient controls are introduced, the number of people exposed to this source of pollution will only grow."


However the National Bargee Travellers Association London, has vowed to oppose Sadiq Khan’s plan, with its Chairman, Marcus Trower responding:

Marcus Trower"We all understand that air pollution is a problem especially in central London. However, boats are small time polluters. For most people who live on a boat, a solid fuel stove is their only source of heat to beat back the cold in winter. Also many don’t have access to mains electricity and therefore rely on generating their own power from generators/engines.

"In the same press release, Sadiq Khan talks about allowing ‘creation of zones where the burning of solid fuel is not allowed,’ which along with the want for more controls over boat emissions, may see areas where solid fuel stoves are banned on boats. For many boat dwellers, solid fuel stoves are their only heat source.

"People on boats are in a different situation than most of the population, we reply on solid fuel stoves/generators/ engines for our day to day life. Without the ability to heat our boats and ability to generate electricity, our lives become a lot harder. If Sadiq Khan’s plans are implemented it will make many boat dwellers think twice about living on a boat, and may see many boat dwellers stop living on boats all together.

"We will oppose any plan that would put pressure on boat dwellers to move off the waterways, including this one."