HC Deb 26 November 1945 vol 416 cc882-3
21. Mr. Sparks

asked the Minister of War Transport how many miles of railway-owned and non-railway-owned canals there are in Great Britain, excluding the Manchester Ship Canal; the mileage of canals used for the passage of traffic and closed to the passage of traffic, respectively; to what extent canals were used as auxiliary means of transport during the war years; and if he will make a statement upon the future of canals in post-war transport organisation.

Mr. Barnes

Excluding canals or sections of canals which have been abandoned for navigation by statutory procedure, the total mileage of the principal canals and inland navigations in Great Britain is 2,419 miles, of which 803 miles are railway-owned and 1,616 are in other ownership. Of these waterways, 444 miles are not used for the passage of traffic. During the war, such traffic was diverted to canals to relieve other forms of transport and the average yearly tonnage carried on the principal canals and inland navigations during the war years was 11,200,000. As to the last part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council on 19th November.

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