HC Deb 15 February 1995 vol 254 cc676-7W
Mr. Simon Coombs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he has taken to continue the review of British Waterways and the National Rivers Authority's navigation functions recommended by the Environment Select Committee.

Mr. Atkins

I have today published a consultation paper continuing the review of British Waterways' and the National Rivers Authority's navigation functions begun in 1991. Copies have been placed in the House libraries.

The paper seeks views on how we might secure the best possible stewardship of our waterways for future generations. A number of options are identified, including those of transferring all the NRA's existing navigations to BW and vice versa, achieving more effective management through closer co-operation between existing authorities, and the possibility of creating a new single statutory authority for navigation. Our waterways are a unique asset and must serve a wide range of interests and uses. This consultation aims to give all those concerned about the waterways the opportunity to make their views on the best way forward known to Government.