Untapped potential of liquid assets

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The Independent Online

Inland waterways, part of Britain's 19th-century heritage, need more care, attention - and investment - according to a report published yesterday.

The Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council (IWAAC) says the use and conservation of over 5,000 miles of waterways should be higher up the political agenda.

Waterways have "untapped economic and social potential" and the Government should investigate why, despite incentives, there was little evidence of the transfer of freight haulage from roads to waterways.

Among the 31 recommendations, IWAAC suggests that anglers should pay towards maintaining the rivers they use.

And it also proposes measures to encourage tourism, leisure and sport.

Audrey Lee, chairman of IWAAC, said: "Waterways are not like stately homes which you just look at. We must make better use of them."