What’s your view on the river?

Water taxis and transporting refuse waste – just two of the ideas for finding new ways of using Bath’s waterways –  that l discussed with the man ‘chairing’ a group who are charged with transforming and revitalising the river and canal systems.

L to R. Dave Laming, River Regeneration Trust; Nick Rowson, Atkins; John Wilkinson, B&NES; and Cllr Martin Veal, Chair of the Strategic River Group. Photo © paulgillisphoto.com

Cllr Martin Veal – who is Cabinet Member for Community Services – has been appointed Chair of the Strategic River Group which has been set up to look at the matter – but they want the public to have a big say in how Bath uses its water spaces.


Bath & North East Somerset Council, the Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency, and Wessex Water will work together in a jointly funded Water Space Study, with the support of ongoing research from the River Regeneration Trust.

Water Space Study Launch
From left to right: Patrick Moss, Atkins (who is from Moss Naylor Young ltd, a sub-consultant to Atkins) Zoe Hancock, BANES,John Wilkinson, BANES, Jim Collings, BANES, David Crowson, Environment Agency, Cllr Martin Veal, BANES, Dave Laming, River Regeneration Trust, Nick Rowson, Atkins, Cleo Newcombe-Jones, BANES, Mark Minkley, BANES, Jeremy Taylor, Environment Agency, Ruth Barden, Wessex Water, Tim Hewitt, BANES.

Historically rivers and canals were heavily used for industry, business and trade, but they are now used increasingly for leisure and wellbeing, sports and recreation, so the study will gather new evidence about how the waterways are now being used.


Engaging with local communities, it will look at the diverse range of opportunities along the River Avon between Bath and Keynsham, and along the Kennet and Avon Canal between Deep Lock and Limpley Stoke Viaduct.IMG_5713

The Water Space Study will also be informed by the continuing work of the Council and the Environment Agency to investigate options for managing flood risk.

Councillor  Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North) said: “All of the project partners are keen to engage with everyone who has an interest in the river and canal within our communities, including businesses, the construction industry, landowners, sports clubs, boaters and local groups.

“We want to make sure that local people play a key part in finding more ways for everyone to safely enjoy our fantastic waterways in a way that benefits the environment and the local economy.

I met him for a chat in Parade Gardens.

As soon as we find out more about how and when you can contribute the Virtual Museum will let you know! Please let me know your views in the meantime.