Council's move against 'smoking' boats

Published: Friday, 05 January 2018

SUCH is the amount of smoke from boats moored on the Cam in Cambridge that the City Council is taking action against owners who burn coal or wood on their stoves.

There is one stretch of river in the city where smoke from the boats is making the air 'unbreathable' and harming pedestrians and residents who live in the area, Roger Fox tells us.

Walkers and residents at risk

Those living at Riverside, maintain the pollution from the chimneys of narrowboats is putting people walking along the riverside and residents at risk, it being particularly bad as the smoke is released at low level.

Resident Tony Eva told Cambridge News that smoke coming from the houseboats on Riverside is a health hazard for people walking along the pavement, a hazard that a number of people have been raising for some time. If you walk along Riverside at certain times 'you get a lungful'.

Must use smokeless fuel

A manager at Cambridge City Council pointed out that the licenced boat owners at Riverside had an obligation to burn smokeless fuel, and If they don’t do so, then their licences could be terminated, as the mooring policy states that a licence holder must not create nuisance by smoke.

It has been discovered that some boaters burn painted or tanalised wood which are toxic when burnt.

The coucil has published its latest Local Plan that states any new residential moorings would only be allowed if they were supplied with electricity, thus giving boat owners an alternative way of heating.

Reducing moorings

The council approved a scheme last year to replace new moorings for boats on Riverside using floating pontoons, that will be supplied with electricty, but will greatly reduce the number of boats currently using that stretch of river,

The trend of reducing smoke from narowboats in built-up areas was started by the presnt mayor of London, and is spreading to other towns and cities where moored boats are causing problems burning other than smokeless fuels.