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Basingstoke Canal – Navigation Update 13th May 2020

Basingstoke Canal – Navigation Update 13th May 2020

The Basingstoke canal authority have issued the following advice to users of the Basingstoke Canal;

Driving to the Canal

The towpath remains very busy so you are encouraged to consider also using other local sites that are now reopening as well as the Canal.

We will be phasing the reopening our car parks, to coincide with mowing sections of towpath over the next week.

In our gravel surface car parks – please park with at least a 2m gap between vehicles to ensure that social distancing can be maintained.

At Reading Road and at the Canal Centre please park in every other marked bay leaving a gap between vehicles.

If your chosen car park is full please wait for a space if it is safe to do so and not blocking access, or go elsewhere.

Mytchett Visitor Centre

The Canal Visitor Centre, toilets, campsite, play area and the adjoining Canal Café all remain closed.

Cycling

We have seen very high cycling numbers over the last few weeks.

The towpath is narrow in places and cyclists are reminded that they are using the towpath by permission – they MUST slow down and give way to other users. This may mean stopping and dismounting to ensure that you can achieve the maximum space between other path users.

Angling

A reminder that although Angling is now a permitted activity generally, the Canal operates a closed season (15 March – 15 June) for fish conservation. No one should currently be currently fishing on the Canal.

Paddle-sports

The Government guidance is clear that personal paddling whilst adhering to social distancing measures is now acceptable.

What this means on the Basingstoke Canal:

  • You can paddle on the Canal if you hold a valid BCA licence or British Canoeing membership card
  • You must only paddle individually or in same-household groups.
  • Where possible please avoid using canoe steps or slipways as these will contain surfaces that other people may have touched.
  • Exercise good personal hygiene in cleansing your hands and not touching your face if you have to touch shared surfaces

Powered boating

The Government have updated its guidance on permitted outdoor activities again this morning (13th may 2020). They have clarified that powered boating is now an acceptable activity, however, this does not extend to staying over-night on your boat. This means that you may use your powered vessel on the Canal for day boating activities from today. We will be issuing further guidance on safe use of the waterway to all boaters later today.

Registered trail boat users must ring the Canal Centre Office to obtain a day licence as normal – at the moment that will mean ringing on a Friday if you intend to use your boat over a weekend.

Navigational notes

Please note that there is a stoppage to all powered craft at Chobham Road Bridge in Woking; this is to enable Woking Borough Council’s contractor to complete the new bridge foundations which they suspended work on at the beginning of the lockdown period. This stoppage will be for a 3 week period. There will be a pontoon in the channel which powered craft will be unable to pass. Only small unpowered craft (canoes and kayaks) may pass the workzone – please stop and wait for the site operatives to let you know it is safe to pass through.