ALSF boost for water freight in London
BRITISH Waterways has welcomed a £2million boost from the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) to support environmentally friendly water freight in London. The funding was announced by Waterways Minister Huw Irranca-Davies during a recent visit to Prescott Lock and Water Control Structure.
The new state-of-the-art lock development, which is due for completion in early 2009, will help secure a water freight route for 350-tonne barges along the River Lee Navigation and its tributaries, known as the Bow Back Rivers, which flow in and around the Olympic Park in east London.
Huw Irranca-Davies said: ‘We want the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to be the greenest games ever, and sustainability is at the heart of building the venues and infrastructure. By funding the Prescott Lock project we can help boost environment-friendly transport in east London not just for the Games, but long into the future.’
British Waterways’ chief executive, Robin Evans, added: ‘Prescott Lock will help the Olympic Delivery Authority to reach its target of delivering 50% of materials to the Olympic Park by sustainable means. The £2 million from Defra means that we can keep to schedule and deliver a great waterway asset to the people and businesses of east London.’
The £20 million Prescott Lock and Water Control Structure project, which will re-establish full navigation on the Bow Back Rivers for the first time in several decades, comprises twin water-control gates, a 62m x 8m tidal lock, a footbridge, a lock control building, a fish pass and a fixed weir.
Once complete, the lock will provide access for barges carrying construction traffic and recyclables between Stratford and the Thames, and, in the longer term, will allow new opportunities for leisure boats, water taxis, trip boats and floating restaurants, creating a major boating destination in the area.