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Project to strengthen river link between two towns takes another step forward

PUBLISHED: 14:13 13 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:13 13 March 2018

Former Beccles and Bungay mayors Hugh Taylor and Olly Barnes, with members of the survey team and River Waveney Trust board member Lister Noble. Picture: Courtesy of River Waveney Trust.

Former Beccles and Bungay mayors Hugh Taylor and Olly Barnes, with members of the survey team and River Waveney Trust board member Lister Noble. Picture: Courtesy of River Waveney Trust.

Archant

A project to enable smaller, electric, wind and paddle powered craft to enjoy the delights of the River Waveney between Beccles and Bungay has taken another step forward.

Members of the survey team on the River Waveney. Picture: Courtesy of River Waveney Trust. Members of the survey team on the River Waveney. Picture: Courtesy of River Waveney Trust.

Although the River Waveney still physically connects the towns, it has been many years since it has been possible to travel by any waterborne craft, other than canoe, between them and former Beccles and Bungay mayors Hugh Taylor and Olly Barnes would like to see that change.

Mr Taylor said: “Reconnecting Beccles and Bungay to permit specially licensed vessels to use the river and thus enabling this stretch of the River Waveney to become a ‘green water lane’ has come a step closer following a recent riverbed survey which was conducted with the assistance of the Broads Authority and the support of the River Waveney Trust as well as Beccles and Bungay Town Councils.

“The ‘water lane’ scheme would entail permitting small, licensed, electrically-powered vessels to travel between the two towns. Other proposed elements of the scheme include work on canoe portages and launching points, repair and restoration of riverside footpaths and connections to the Angles Way and other footpaths linking the river with nearby villages, and hamlets, development of wildlife and flora observation as well as, at appropriate points, information posts for visitors.

Members of the survey team on the River Waveney. Picture: Courtesy of River Waveney Trust. Members of the survey team on the River Waveney. Picture: Courtesy of River Waveney Trust.

“Those involved recognise the importance of preventing intrusion onto private property as well as ensuring that the tranquillity and wellbeing of this part of the river does not become unbalanced. In supporting the scheme, the River Waveney Trust hopes that other stretches of the river can be similarly supported in ways that reflect the history and character of the different parts of the river.”

The data from the survey will be passed to the Broads Authority who will analyse it to produce an underwater profile map of the riverbed which will be used to establish whether any dredging or re-profiling work will be required to permit the types of vessels envisaged to pass along the river.

Last summer Mr Taylor and Mr Barnes led a canoe voyage along the seven mile section of the river between Beccles and Bungay to raise awareness of the project.

Members of the survey team on the River Waveney. Picture: Courtesy of River Waveney Trust. Members of the survey team on the River Waveney. Picture: Courtesy of River Waveney Trust.

For more information about the scheme and to learn more about the River Waveney Trust, email Caroline Topping at caroline_topping@yahoo.co.uk.

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