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Organisation Reference

British Waterways

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This information has been taken directly from the British Waterways website.

British Waterways is a public corporation. We manage and care for more than 2,000 miles (3,220 kms) of canals and rivers in England, Scotland and Wales on behalf of the British people.

We will blend best commercial practice with public sector values to earn and increase our income to conserve and enhance the waterways. 

As well as being governed by the normal accounting, employment, environmental, planning and safety legislation that affects any modern organisation, we are specifically governed by many of the original canal enabling Acts as well as a number of modern Acts of Parliament. 

Our sponsoring government departments are:
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs in England and Wales 
The Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department in Scotland
We also liaise closely with:
The Department for Economic Development and Transport in Wales 

Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council (IWAAC)
IWAAC provides strategic policy advice to us and to government about the waterways generally. It has published several reports on topics such as restoration, social inclusion and planning.

British Waterways London

British Waterways London looks after 100 miles of canals and rivers and 110 acres of docks in and around the Capital. These are the Grand Union and Regent's Canals, the Rivers Lee and Stort, and the docks on the Isle of Dogs.

We are tasked by government to ensure that navigation channels remain open and in a safe and well-maintained state. However, much more than that, our role has broadened to one of stimulating new and innovative improvements in our waterways for the benefit of both local communities and visitors to London. 

This covers every aspect of waterway management, from encouraging their use for leisure and tourism, to considering environmental issues, reintroducing freight initiatives, and managing our large portfolio of properties.

There is enormous potential for the waterways to play a vital role in the regeneration of the Capital, as well as in delivering social, environmental and transport improvements. We are working with our partners through the Blue Ribbon Network in London to deliver the major's vision of an 'exemplary sustainable world city'.

Dates Referenced May 2005
Contact Details Emergency Contact
  • 24 hour emergency freephone service: 0800 47 999 47
  • If an incident appears to be life/injury threatening or involves fire/criminality please dial 999.
  • If either number is dialled please make sure you are clear about the location and the nature of emergency and provide information as requested.
British Waterways Head Office:

Willow Grange
Church Road
Herts WD17 4QA

Telephone: 01923 201120
Fax: 01923 201400

British Waterways London:

British Waterways London
1 Sheldon Square
Paddington Central
London W2 6TT

Telephone: 020 7985 7200
Fax: 020 7985 7201

Website Address



General: enquiries.hq@britishwaterways.co.uk 
London: enquiries.london@britishwaterways.co.uk 

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