Islington boat owners forced to move homes after Olympics take over Regent’s Canal

16:08 18 July 2012

The Angel Canal Festival. Picture: Tony Gay

The Angel Canal Festival. Picture: Tony Gay


Many canal boat owners moored in Islington have been forced to uproot their homes on the Regent’s Canal due to Olympic waterway restrictions.

Some 176 barge dwellers have been forced to move as a restriction zone takes effect, spanning 15 miles of water from Little Venice to the Lime House Basin in Docklands and the Lea Navigation in Tottenham.

The restrictions, which have been set up for security reasons and to keep the waterways clear during the games, will remain in place until the beginning of September and affect the 370 boats that take advantage of rules allowing anyone to use moorings as long as they move every 14 days.

Of these, 194 boat owners have paid for special licences – costing from £36 to £350 a week – to stay within the Olympic zone.

Chairman of Friends of Regent’s Canal, Ian Shacklock, said: “We can’t wait for it to be over to be honest.

“It’s like living in a street and suddenly every parking bay has been claimed for a VIP. The canal around Islington tunnel is normally full of boats and now it’s completely empty.

“They even wanted to close one of the locks completely, which would have reduced the Regent’s Canal to a lake rather than a network, but we have negotiated for it to be open a certain number of hours a day.”

The restrictions have also caused a headache for those behind the Angel Canal Festival – but the September 2 event will still go ahead and the organisers and Islington Council are confident about reaching a compromise.

It is hoped that The Canal and River Trust will relax the restrictions to allow boats with advanced vetting and security escorts to attend the event.

Islington Council leader Catherine West, who has been heavily involved in the negotiations, said: “We want the festival to run as smoothly as possible. We’re trying to apply reason and get a common sense solution for the festival as it really doesn’t have an affect on the Paralympics.

“We are yet to hear back but we hope to run everything according to plan.”

Jason Leach, head of Olympic programmes at The Canal and River Trust, said security restrictions were “inevitable” to accommodate the many people who wanted to visit London, some in canal boats and yachts.

He said: “The Olympics has brought about an extraordinary transformation of the canals of London and allowed us to restore and reopen waterways which had been clogged and abused since the Blitz.”


Latest News Stories

A man riding a moped tried to set fire to Finsbury Park Mosque in north London (Picture: Google Street View)

Police are hunting a moped rider suspected of trying to set Finsbury Park Mosque on fire in what is being treated as a “hate crime”.

Yesterday, 09:00
Fergus conducting the English National Opera. Picture: Tom Bowles/English National Opera

Anyone can enjoy opera. Shrewsbury Town FC is proof of that.

Fri, 17:05
Year 6 pupils interview the school's Site Manager, Robbie Robinson, about his memories of the Apollo missions

Pupils at Vittoria Primary School, Islington, are keen to talk to people who remember the Apollo space missions and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon for a history project.

Fri, 14:28
Prince Philip presents Dr Alasdair Harris with the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award

The founder of an Islington-based charity was this week presented with the 2015 Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award for contributions to marine conservation.

Fri, 12:30
Former Dragons' Den star Doug Richard arrives at the Old Bailey, London, for a plea and case management hearing after he was accused of child sex charges. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A former Dragons’ Den star from Islington this morning denied paying a 13-year-old girl for sex after meeting her on a “Sugar Daddy” website.

Fri, 11:30
Handing in the petition against the closure of Caledonian Road Station: Cllr Paul Convery, Cllr Claudia Webbe, Jennette Arnold AM, Cllr Rakhia Ismail, Cllr Paul Smith, Cllr Una O’'Halloran, and Cllr Diarmaid Ward

The fight to keep Caledonian Road Station open continues on Thursday.

Fri, 09:33
London Ambulance Service has been recommended for special measures following a CQC report

A damning report by health inspectors has revealed a culture of “harassment and bullying” in London’s ambulance service and called for it to be placed into special measures.

Fri, 07:00
Cllr Andy Hull

Jobs will be lost as a result of the budget cuts announced in Wednesday’s Spending Review, a councillor has said.

Most read news


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder