CRT loses bid to take over Medway Navigation

Some excellent news from the Medway River Users Association: The Environment Agency has announced that the proposals from the Canals and Rivers Trust to take over the running and responsibility for the Medway, Thames and Anglia have been rejected. So for now the EA will continue to manage the navigation of the non-tidal Medway for the foreseeable future.

7 thoughts on “CRT loses bid to take over Medway Navigation

  1. Does anybody know what happened to the clearing of a canal between the Medway and the Thames? If my memory serves me correctly, this was mentioned in a magazine article early last year, I think it was in Practical Boat Owner.

  2. The actual statement from the EA was as follows.

    Over the past few years we’ve had fruitful and positive discussions with the Canal & River Trust and Government about whether, and if so under what terms, the Environment Agency’s navigation responsibilities might be transferred to the Trust.

    CRT recently submitted their proposed terms for taking over our navigation responsibilities to Government. Ministers have considered the proposals and decided not to proceed with any transfer at the present time; however, they wish to keep the option open and return to it when they feel the time is right.

    We in the Environment Agency will continue to concentrate on ensuring we run our navigations as efficiently as possible, including looking at new ways to raise revenue and engaging with our boating customers over our charges review. We and CRT will continue to cooperate actively in the running of our respective navigations to ensure the best possible experience for all river and canal users.


    Another interpretation could be , CaRT want a decent publicly funded dowery to take over the system especially the Pandoras box of the Thames, the government is a bit preoccupied at the moment to pass legislation and is anyway mightly skint.

    Have frequently heard the rumour that the transfer to CaRT will result in increased costs for river users,.
    No matter who runs the system, extra funding needs to be found as the revenue raised at the moment is not meeting the costs.

  3. Is there something I have missed here. Am I right in believing that this affects (or could) only the non-tidal sections above the first locks? That is tidal zones are the responsibility of Medway Ports/PLA, and remain so, being unaffected?

    • Nick, yes this decision affects the navigable non-tidal Medway, known as the Medway Navigation. Local boaters, represented by the MRUA, are relieved that the EA will continue to manage it. See “River Medway Boaters” on Facebook.

  4. Richard Shannon, It is highly unlikely that the Thames & Medway canal will be re-opened: the tunnel has long been used by the railway … however, there have been some plans to make use of the section between the Gravesend Basin and Higham. Although this section is still ‘navigable’, I can’t see ‘sea-going’ craft getting access for there is a bridge close to the basin which is now fixed. I expect canoeists can intrepidly paddle for as long as it continues to hold water. Essentially, the waterway is sadly a dead end, whatever publicity stunts take place!

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