Re-instate boaters' rubbish disposal at the Bridge Inn, Horton, Wiltshire

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Re-instate boaters' rubbish disposal at the Bridge Inn, Horton, Wiltshire

To: 1. Wadworth's Brewery 2. Canal & River Trust

Living or holidaying on a canal boat means you rely on the facilities provided at the canalside, such as rubbish bins, water taps, temporary and permanent moorings and sometimes car parking. Until recently, the Bridge Inn at Horton, Wiltshire was the site of rubbish bins, a water tap and a car park that boaters could use as well as long-term and visitor moorings. The rubbish bins were provided by the navigation authority Canal & River Trust on land owned by Wadworths Brewery.


On 1st August 2018 Canal & River Trust informed boaters that the bins at the Bridge Inn, Horton would be closed until further notice due to Wadworths Brewery withdrawing its consent for the bin site. We are extremely concerned about the effect on boaters, especially those who live aboard, of removing yet another essential facility on the Kennet and Avon Canal.


Boaters have already lost rubbish disposal at the Barge Inn, Honey Street; the bins at the very busy Devizes Wharf were removed for some years and only replaced with bins of much reduced capacity after lobbying on the part of boaters and others. Even before this, boaters' facilities on the Kennet and Avon Canal, a major holiday boating destination, were scarce and inadequate.


The Bridge Inn pub landlord has complained that in the past 2 years the bins were abused by companies fly-tipping and using the bins for bulky waste, rather than paying to use the Council dump on Hopton trading estate. However much of the waste inside the boaters' bins appeared to be restaurant-related, such as food packaging, not fly-tipped household or industrial waste.


There are permanent moorings at the Bridge Inn. The moorers are very concerned because refuse disposal, parking and water supply were all specified in their mooring agreements and in the advertisement for the moorings. The mooring fee reflects the facilities available and also influenced the prices boaters were willing to bid when they took part in auctions for the moorings. As of 1st August 2018 they are paying over the odds for services that have been withdrawn.


There is a 99-year lease dating from 2002 in favour of Canal & River Trust giving the navigation authority exclusive right to use the end section of the pub car park with rights of access. This is so that moorers can have vehicle access to their boats. This land could be used to re-site the bins on land that the Trust controls.


We call upon Wadworths and Canal & River Trust to re-instate the boaters' rubbish bins at the Bridge Inn, Horton and to ensure that the water tap and car park continue to be available to boaters.