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New Electric Canal Boat Will Help to Cut Carbon Emissions

Published on: 7 Nov, 2023
Updated on: 9 Nov, 2023

The Basingstoke Canal Society’s present trip boat, which will be replaced.

The Basingstoke Canal Society will be replacing its aging diesel-powered trip boat, Kitty, with an all-electric boat following a successful two-year fundraising campaign.

The last £75,000 of investment required came from a successful Your Fund Surrey grant application. In total over £165,000 has been raised.

The canal society says the switch to an all-electric boat will reduce annual carbon emissions by an estimated 3.5 tonnes in an urban environment, helping it to meet the climate emergency goals set out by both the government and Surrey County Council.

Cllr Denise Turner-Stewart

Cllr Denise Turner-Stewart, SCC’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety, said: “We are thrilled that the Basingstoke Canal Society has been successful in their application to Your Fund Surrey.

“Making the Surrey countryside including our waterways accessible to everyone has huge benefits to our residents’ wellbeing.

“Using an electric boat will also help with Surrey’s goal to be a carbon net zero county by 2050. This is a fantastic project and I look forward to seeing the boat out on the canal.”

Brayzel Narrowboats, of Garstang, Lancashire, will be building the new Kitty trip boat and the society hopes to have it in the water for its 2024 season next spring and summer.

The society will install charging points to kick-start the electrification of the Basingstoke Canal. There will be three in total, one dedicated to Kitty and the other two open for public use.

A statement from the society said: “The Basingstoke Canal is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) so it’s particularly important to protect its environment with this new ‘greener’ trip boat and charging points for other boaters too. The new electric Kitty will also be designed to be better adapted for wheelchair use and have better facilities for all users.”

The society said it wanted to thank the many corporate and individual contributors.

The Shanly Foundation and the Syder Foundation awarded grants for the project, and many locally based businesses also supported it. There were donations from Waitrose, the Lansbury Estates, AECOM, The Ion Group, Tim and Liz Dodswell and SC Johnson, in addition to legacies from the estates of Joyce Keep and Peter Harman.

Many artists donated paintings for auction as well as the Basingstoke Canal Authority, which donated paintings of Nancy Larcombe.

The Basingstoke Canal is owned by Hampshire County Council and Surrey County Council, with the Basingstoke Canal Authority acting as the managing agents for the waterway.

The navigable section of the canal runs for 32 miles from West Byfleet through Woking, Mytchett, Ash Vale, Fleet and Crookham, to Odiham and finally ending up at Greywell in Hampshire.

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