Bristol Water should pay for Gloucester Docks to be dredged, say former mayor by Marketing | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/
Bristol Water should pay for the dredging needed to fix the high siltation siltation levels which are preventing boats from mooring at Gloucester Docks, believes civic chief Pam Tracey.
Dockside businesses say their trade suffered over Easter because boats could not moor.
The Canal and River Trust says it has been dredging to increase the depth for boats since November.
And they have so far removed enough silt to fill eight Olympic sized swimming pools.
But the high levels of siltation in the Docks are a result of last year’s drought when the River Severn was at historic lows.
River water was pumped into the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal to supply Bristol with drinking water but this brought in very high levels of silt into the Docks.
And Gloucester Councillor Pam Tracey (C, Westgate) believes Bristol should pay to fix the problem.
“They should charge Bristol,” the former city mayor said.
“If it’s a problem created by supplying Bristol with water they should pay for it, why should Gloucester have to suffer?
“Has anyone contacted them to ask them to pay towards it? Everybody keeps passing the buck.”
A Bristol Water spokesperson said they have a contract with the Canal and River and River Trust to use the Gloucester and Sharpness canal as a resilient water source for the Bristol Water area.
“Our contract with the Canal and River Trust means they are fully responsible for the maintenance and management of Gloucester Docks and how water is transferred into the canal,” they said.
A spokesperson for the Canal and River Trust said they invested more than £1m in the last financial year to improve navigation in the Docks.
The high levels of siltation this year are a result of the exceptional weather conditions we experienced last year when the River Severn levels were at historic lows, which brought in very high levels of silt into the Docks, they said.
“It was vital to ensure the availability of drinking water supply to Bristol that we pumped water in from the river to the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal as this provides the source of up to half of Bristol’s drinking water requirements and needed to be protected.
“We have targeted our available dredging project resources to address key priority areas for our customers to ensure a navigable channel across the Dock, and to berths in Victoria Basin and the Barge Arm.”
By Carmelo Garcia – Local Democracy Reporter
Gloucester News Centre – http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk