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Inland Waterways

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 14 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with British Waterway's on progress towards its target to expand its waterways network in the Cotswolds by 2012. (246751)

I meet with British Waterways regularly to discuss the best strategy for the waterways network.

The Government support British Waterways' ambitions to expand the network where this will assist in achieving clear additional public benefits. This is provided such expansion does not compromise British Waterways' ability to maintain the existing network through creating additional on-going financial liabilities. Engagement in restoration projects is a matter for its Board to decide, given the need for careful assessment of costs and British Waterways' statutory position.

The Cotswold Canals restoration project is now being taken forward by the Cotswold Canals Partnership. British Waterways is no longer a lead partner in this project but continues to provide expertise.