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Share your thoughts on the future of the Lowland Canals

Published on: 12 December 2019

Kelpies Opening

British Marine member, Scottish Canals has launched a public consultation to gather views on the best way to run operations on the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals.

Scottish Canals is the custodian of Scotland’s 250-year-old public canal network, working to conserve the canals and their surrounding areas as part of Scotland’s national heritage. This consultation gives people the chance to share their views with Scottish Canals on a range of issues, from expanding boaters’ ability to pass through the canal independently and addressing weed control issues to canal dredging and the development of an online booking system.

Responses will be published in January 2020 and the final proposal will be available on the Scottish Canals website. The outcomes of the consultation will be introduced from 1 April 2020.

Catherine Topley, Chief Executive at Scottish Canals, commented: “I would encourage anyone with an interest in the future of these precious community assets to have their say. The canals are here for everyone in Scotland to enjoy and we want your help to ensure we direct our efforts and resources to the right places.”

“Over the past 20 years the renaissance of Scotland’s canals, particularly in the Lowlands, has delivered significant economic value with more than £1.5 billion of investment nationally. This success was achieved by working in collaborating with the people who live, boat and travel along our canal sides. We want to build on this success and we can’t do that without you.”

“If we are to encourage busy, vibrant canals that welcome as many boats as possible onto the water, we have to find sustainable and efficient solutions. I’m confident that the results of this consultation will support those efforts.”

Scotland’s inland waterways attract 2,800 transiting boats per year from as far afield as Argentina and Japan, with the Lowlands boasting over 250 long-term berth holders. Since they were re-opened by the Millennium Link in 2002, the Lowland canals have also attracted an average of 80 transits per year, largely from the UK.

Those interested in learning more about the scope of the consultation are welcome to attend information events organised by Scottish Canals in Glasgow, Falkirk and Edinburgh throughout the month of December.

You can find out more about the events and access the consultation survey here.