Inland Waterways

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will publish the assessment made by British Waterways of (a) its waterways network infrastructure and (b) the elements of its waterways network infrastructure not categorised as principal assets; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Marine and Natural Environment)

British Waterways categorises the condition of its principal and most significant non-principal assets using a five-point condition grading system of A (very good) through to E (bad) in order to establish priorities for maintenance work. The latest information available as at 31 March 2009(1) is as follows:

(1) Information provided by British Waterways.

Grade description (Percentage)
A : Very good B : Good C : Fair D : Poor E : Bad Assets assessed
Principal assets 3.6 22.3 54.1 17.6 2.4 10,516
Significant non-principal assets
Towpath 19.1 26.7 35.2 15.3 3.7 2,718 km
Bank protection 10.8 33.2 38.4 12.7 4.9 5,220 km (both sides of canal)
Lock gates 13.8 21.9 40.9 15.8 7.6 3,362

British Waterways take a risk-based approach in using the funding available to maintain the network. They concentrate on those assets in the poorest condition and that have the highest consequence of failure e.g. in terms of safety or the impact on the wider network.

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