Broads Authority to take on responsibility for Breydon Water


Quango grabs last stretch of water in the Broads Network that allowed speed trials as for this pilot boat built by a Broads boatyard

The Broads Authority and Great Yarmouth Port Company have reached agreement on the transfer of responsibility for navigation in Breydon Water and the Lower Bure.


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Breydon Water and the lower parts of the River Bure are within the Broads Authority’s boundary. However, when the Authority was established in 1989, responsibility for the navigation for this area stayed with the Great Yarmouth Port Authority which now delegates most of its day to day responsibilities to the Great Yarmouth Port Company.


Breydon Water and the Lower Bure are vital connections between the northern part of the Broads and the rivers Yare and Waveney, which are also within the Broads Authority’s boundary, and for some long time the present management arrangements have been regarded as an anomaly. Informal agreement between the Broads Authority and the Great Yarmouth Port Authority was reached on the transfer in 2005 and provision was made in the Broads Authority’s Private Bill which was submitted to Parliament in November 2006.


The legislation received Royal Assent in June 2009 and the Broads Authority Act requires the agreement of the Great Yarmouth Port Authority, the setting of a date for the change and its advertisement for the new arrangements to be brought into effect. Now, following written confirmation of the approval of the Great Yarmouth Port Company the date of 1st June 2012 has been set for the transfer and the necessary advertisements have been placed in the London Gazette and the Eastern Daily Press.


Breydon Water is the trickiest part of the Broads to cross – particularly for novice hirers on holiday. A single navigation authority for the whole of the Broads will provide a consistent approach. Under the current arrangements the Broads Authority already provides a launch with two Rangers to patrol the area in the boating season funded entirely by the Authority. One option being considered is to make this a year-round operation.


Broads Authority Chairman Stephen Johnson said, “We are very pleased that we have been able to reach agreement with the Great Yarmouth Port Authority and the Port Company on the transfer of this responsibility. We are also delighted to have received the unanimous support of the Navigation Committee for this important change. Breydon Water joins the northern and southern parts of the Broads where we look after the navigation and it will enable us to provide a single service for the whole area. There will be some additional costs but we have carried out a detailed survey of the area and have a good understanding of what those will be and responsibilities that will transfer.”


The prime aim of the 2009 Broads Authority Act was to improve safety on the Broads and the transfer of the Breydon Water area and lower reaches of the River Bure is the last major element of this legislation to be implemented.

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