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Boaters and Broads Authority in troubled waters over closure of moorings

PUBLISHED: 15:12 22 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:12 22 February 2019

Boat owners have said there are not enough moorings along the Norfolk Broads. 

Picture: James Bass

Boat owners have said there are not enough moorings along the Norfolk Broads. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

Boaters have raised concerns there are not enough moorings in the Broads to cope with the increased capacity during the summer months.

The Norfolk Broads near Langley. Picture: Nick ButcherThe Norfolk Broads near Langley. Picture: Nick Butcher

The Broads Authority website lists 64 free 24-hour moorings, stating there are more available at places such as staithes, pubs and boatyards - although some of these may charge a fee.

But boat owners have said many moorings have disappeared over time, with those that remain not being large enough to fit large numbers of boats during the holiday season.

The Broads Authority said the main limitation it faced was the availability and price of suitable sites and the costs of maintaining them.

A spokesman added: “Some moorings are very long, for example the 600metres at Hoveton Viaduct is currently being refurbished.

The River Thurne at Potter Heigham is part of the Norfolk Broads. 

Picture: James BassThe River Thurne at Potter Heigham is part of the Norfolk Broads. Picture: James Bass

“Other sites in popular locations such as at Ranworth cannot accommodate all the boats that want to moor and there is no straightforward way of increasing the capacity in such sensitive locations.”

Of the 64 free moorings, around 20 can only fit up to five boats and, due to pressure on mooring spaces, the Broads Authority has assigned 20 designated sites for double alongside mooring.

Boat owner Sue Hines, 79, from Acle, said the Burgh Castle moorings, which closed last year, is important for those who are waiting to cross Breydon Water.

She added: “But from Great Yarmouth the nearest moorings is in St Olaves, which is probably about two hours away.”

The Norfolk Broads is a popular tourist destination during the summer. Picture: James Bass PhotographyThe Norfolk Broads is a popular tourist destination during the summer. Picture: James Bass Photography

She said she had been to a Broads Engage workshop - run by the Broads Authority - where it was recommended for moorings to be no further than 30mins apart.

Boater Jim Redpath, 75, from Beccles, claimed there were half as many moorings now as there were 20 years ago, adding: “They need to build more, especially because some hire boats are getting so large now.”

A Broads Authority spokesman said Burgh Castle moorings had closed after it ceased to function as a flood defence and became unsafe for boats.

But he said officers will be investigating options for future funding for the site with the Environment Agency, as well as exploring alternative locations.

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