Moor or Less: Moorings on London’s Waterways

Date published: 
27 November 2013

Our new report says extra moorings and facilities are needed on London’s waterways to help address hotspots of overcrowding as increasing numbers of Londoners are turning to living on the water.

With house prices and rents rising to record levels in London, the report carried out by Jenny Jones on behalf of our Environment Committee, says some people are choosing to live on a house boat as a more affordable option. Yet, the number of moorings and facilities, such as water supply and waste disposal, has not increased in line with demand.

London has 100 miles of canals and 42 miles of the River Thames. We estimate that in the region of 10,000 people could now be living on them.


We highlight how there is overcrowding in certain popular temporary moorings which can contribute to local environmental and nuisance issues, such as air and noise pollution from generators, stoves and engines, as well as navigational challenges for those trying to use the waterways.

We emphasise that there need to be local solutions to these issues, worked out by all the people involved including boaters, land residents, navigation authorities, boroughs and other official bodies.

The report’s other recommendations include:

the Canal and River Trust should look to increase moorings on London’s canals

planning authorities should ensure waterside developments do not detract from waterway usage, including residential moorings.

future amendments to the London Plan should include a policy to increase moorings

the Canal and River Trust should trial community moorings which would be run by a non-profit organisation.

the Canal and River Trust should review provision of facilities and lighting at existing sites to ensure they are sufficient to cope with demand and review the way moorings are auctioned to make them fairer

all the relevant authorities should work to engage boating and waterside communities and the different groups should work together to find local solutions to pollution issues.

Positive responses have been made to the report and its recommendations - especially by the Canal and River Trust and the Mayor.

Responses are attached below.

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