Decision Maker Response

Canal & River Trust’s response

Nov 26, 2014 — We are absolutely not trying to shut down the book barge, Word on the Water, and there is nothing stopping it from continuing to benefit from its roving trade licence, which allows it to pop up at different locations around the canals. We agree with many of the sentiments expressed about the business and appreciate that it is valued by those who have enjoyed seeing it around London over the last few years. Long may this continue!

Word on the Water, along with eight other enterprises, entered a competitive tender to secure permanent moorings at the very busy and popular spot outside the new entrance to Paddington Station. We appreciate that they were disappointed at not securing the mooring, but this does not stop them from continuing to carry out their business as a roving trader at different locations across London, as their licence allows them.

As a charity entrusted with the care of 2,000 miles of canals and rivers in England and Wales, we have a responsibility to secure the best deal for the canal and its visitors, and to earn the vital resources needed to maintain the nation’s historic waterways. We cannot give one particular enterprise special treatment or, as a charity, charge them below market rates for a high value location.