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Boaters on the Norfolk Broads are gearing up for a protest

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Boaters on the Norfolk Broads are gearing up for a protest

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Boaters on the Norfolk Broads are gearing up for a protest aimed at shining a light on what they perceive as inadequate funding for the waterways.

Scheduled for May 5th at Acle Bridge, the rally is being spearheaded by the Broads Society. Their initiative, dubbed "Fund Britain's Waterways," is a collaborative effort involving over 50 organisations advocating for increased government support to maintain the country's canals and rivers.

Mark Collins, the chairperson of the Broads Society, emphasised the widespread impact of funding shortages, affecting everything from tolls to the challenges faced by authorities in managing floods, preserving the landscape, and ensuring navigational safety.

The protest welcomes participants to join by boat, bicycle, car, or on foot, commencing at 2 pm. Richardsons has generously provided access to its moorings and parking area near the Bridge Inn for a couple of hours during the day.

Collins encouraged boaters to adorn their vessels with bunting, aiming to create a striking visual backdrop for the banners the Broads Society plans to display on the bridge. For those arriving by car, he urged them to bring along their banners, flags, and pop-ups to bolster the demonstration's impact.

Following the Norfolk protest, campaigners will take their cause to the Thames on May 8th. Boats will congregate outside the Palace of Westminster, sounding their horns in a bid to capture the attention of policymakers inside.

The protest comes in the wake of a government review in July, which proposed slashing the grant allocated to the Canal and River Trust (C&RT). Responsible for overseeing 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales, the trust faces the prospect of a £300 million reduction in public funding starting from 2027.
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