Abandoned mooring could cost £50,000 to replace, says council

Mooring along River Nene at West End Park, March

Fenland District Council said it could cost £50,000 to replace the mooring on West End Park, which has since collapsed. - Credit: Submitted

A mooring along the River Nene in need of repair for a year may cost £50,000 to replace.  

Fenland District Council do not have the cash to replace the West End Park, March, mooring.  

A council spokesperson said: “The mooring has collapsed and our budget of £12,000 to address this mooring is not sufficient to replace like for like.”  

A local resident spotted the closure sign this week. 

“It was around March to April last year that the mooring I want to launch my kayak from started to overgrow,” they said.

“It seems as if the council has lost interest”.  

Those who use the river for leisure reasons have now “lost that facility” and the resident has questioned whether the mooring and river bank will be sorted.  

Mooring along River Nene at West End Park, March

Fenland District Council said they do not have the funds for a "like for like" replacement for the mooring at West End Park in March. - Credit: Submitted

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“We’ve got the parkrun back in West End Park, which the council have supported so if they do fix it, that would be nice," said the resident. 

Middle Level Commissioners (MLC), who oversees flood defence and waterways management in the Fens, have spent around £15,000 on improvements to moorings in the last year.  

They have also installed four new moorings and plan to spend £250,000 to £300,000 on navigation as well as moorings during the 2021-22 financial year.  

Chief executive David Thomas said: “We are working closely with Fenland Council on plans to enhance the navigation corridor through March.  

“We are also working with a number of other groups with a view to seeking opportunities for enhancements to all aspects of the navigation.”  

River bank at West End Park in March left to overgrow

The river bank at West End Park, March next to the collapsed mooring has also overgrown. - Credit: Submitted

The latest issue comes after new bylaws to improve maintenance of waterways between the Rivers Nene and Great Ouse were introduced. 

Fenland Council, responsible for maintaining moorings in March town centre, West End Park and in Whittlesey near the leisure centre, are looking into options to solve the problem.  

“If a mooring does fail, a budget of roughly £50,000 per mooring would be required to replace like for like,” the spokesperson said.  

“We are looking into an alternative mooring that is fixed for mooring a boat but does not link to the river bank like others in the town.   

“Replacement moorings have not been an issue until now; no other moorings have failed.”