Thursday, August 17, 2006

All at sea

Canals are now busier than during the Industrial Revolution
By Nicole Martin
(Filed: 17/08/2006)

Britain's network of canals - once thought to be in terminal decline - is enjoying "an unprecedented renaissance", it emerged yesterday.
British Waterways, which manages 2,000 miles of canals and rivers, said a record 29,000 boats were on its network - more than at the height of the Industrial Revolution.
It attributed the rise to an ageing population, greater spending on leisure activities and increased investment in the country's waterways. In the heyday of the canal network, from 1760 to 1840, more than 30 million tons of goods were carried each year on 5,000 miles of waterways across Britain.
Jonathan Ludford, from British Waterways, said canals and navigable rivers were becoming increasingly popular because of their beauty and diversity.
He said: "Going along them you can witness some of the most magnificent countryside."


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