Share your thoughts on the future of the Lowland Canals

Scottish Canals has launched a public consultation to gather views on the best way to run operations on the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals.

Scottish Canals is the custodian of Scotland’s 250-year-old public canal network, working to conserve the canals and their surrounding areas as part of Scotland’s national heritage. This consultation gives people the chance to share their views with Scottish Canals on a range of issues, from expanding boaters’ ability to pass through the canal independently and addressing weed control issues to canal dredging and the development of an online booking system.

Responses will be published along with the final proposal in January 2020, with the outcomes of the consultation introduced from 1st April 2020.

‘I would encourage anyone with an interest in the future of these precious community assets to have their say. The canals are here for everyone in Scotland to enjoy and we want your help to ensure we direct our efforts and resources to the right places’.
‘Over the past 20 years the renaissance of Scotland’s canals, particularly in the Lowlands, has delivered significant economic value with more than £1.5 billion of investment nationally. This success was achieved by working in collaborating with the people who live, boat and travel along our canal sides. We want to build on this success, and we can’t do that without you.’
‘If we are to encourage busy, vibrant canals that welcome as many boats as possible onto the water, we have to find sustainable and efficient solutions. I’m confident that the results of this consultation will support those efforts.’

Catherine Topley, Chief Executive at Scottish Canals

Scotland’s inland waterways attract 2,800 transiting boats per year from as far afield as Argentina and Japan, with the Lowlands boasting over 250 long-term berth holders. Since they were re-opened by the Millennium Link in 2002, the Lowland canals have also attracted an average of 80 transits per year, largely from the UK.

This is a great opportunity for boaters and other canal users to share their ideas and opinions with Scottish Canals. We have extensive experience of leading public consultations in a range of settings, and believe that by delivering insightful analysis that retains individual confidentiality, we can support meaningful engagement and change. I’m looking forward to supporting Scottish Canals to better understand public priorities for the canals.

Johnathan Briggs, Target Applications Ltd

Those interested in learning more about the scope of the consultation are welcome to attend information events organised by Scottish Canals in Glasgow, Falkirk and Edinburgh throughout the month of December.

You can find out more about the events and access the consultation survey here.

Notes to Editors

Scottish Canals

Scottish Canals is the custodian of Scotland’s 250-year-old public canal network. They work to conserve the canals and their surrounding areas as part of Scotland’s national heritage, and transform them to play a vital role in Scotland today. Find out more at

Target Applications

Target Applications Ltd are the creators of CX-Feedback. The aim of Target Applications is to provide software specifically designed for public services and housing associations. Find out more at

Consultation format

In line with Scottish Government guidelines, the consultation will be open for 12 weeks from the date of publication. The consultation will take the form of a series of questions that will be split into the key areas of activity and will be delivered by Scottish Canals in partnership with Target Applications Ltd, an online survey company.

Scottish Canals will hold public meetings in Edinburgh, Falkirk and Glasgow. Details can be found here:

Consultation timing

The consultation results will be published in January 2020 with Scottish Canals’ response also published that month, setting out how we plan to implement the decisions which the majority of respondents voted for. This will be shared will all long-term berthing customers, boating organisations, partners and stakeholders as well as the media.

For further information, please contact:

Lisa Clark at Scottish Canals on 07341777356 or email

Nicola Sturgeon at Scottish Canals on 07767 383 557 or email

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