Kennet & Avon Canal reclassified

Published: Wednesday, 23 March 2011

AT LONG last the Kennet & Avon Canal, a 'remainder' waterway, has been upgraded to 'cruiseway' status, it was announced today (Wednesday).

This follows a public consultation by the Department for Food and Rural Affairs, the waterways' sponsoring government department. The Kennet & Avon Canal is now classified as having ‘cruiseway' status.


The reclassification, backed by British Waterways, The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust, Trade Association and by canal supporters, means that the historic, 87 miles long waterway has been upgraded from ‘remainder' status—one step above a derelict canal—to that of a national ‘cruiseway'.

British Waterways' waterway manager, Mark Stephens explained:

"British Waterways has, in reality, been managing the Kennet & Avon Canal as if it has had cruiseway status since its multi-million pound restoration.

"We think that the formalisation of this status is beneficial to the canal, helping to secure its long term future by legally stating that the canal should be maintained to a level whereby cruising craft, such as narrowboats, can safely navigate the length of the canal. British Waterways believes that this is the appropriate classification for this popular and much-loved waterway.

"We will continue to maintain the canal, working with our partners and users, helping to ensure a balance of interests along the waterway and respecting the wonderful environment the canal offers."