Pump-out point revamp ‘great for March’

Boating organisations have welcomed the £25,000 refurbishment of the sanitation point on the Old River Nene in March.

Members of the Middle Level Watermen’s Club, the Inland Waterways Association and the Well Creek Trust joined members from Fenland District Council last week for the official opening of the revamped facility.

Councillor Mike Cornwell, chairman of the Fenland Tourism Board, said it effectively provided “an environmental one-stop facility for boaters”.

“It enables them to take on fresh water, dispose of their domestic waste and empty their chemical toilets all free of charge. It also provides a new, token-operated pump-out unit,” he said. “And it helps safeguard against pollution from those few users who might otherwise be tempted to dump their waste over the side or on the banks rather than dispose of it responsibly.”

He added: “It’s important for March as a whole as it reinforces our role as a destination for boat users and provides an even greater reason for those visitors to dwell in the town and contribute to our local economy using local shops, food outlets, restaurants, cafes and pubs.”

Bill Barry, Commodore of the Middle Level Watermen’s Club, said: “It’s a great thing for the boating population and it’s great for the town. It means that people will stop in March and once they’ve pumped out, they’ll use the existing moorings and stop for a couple of days. The money they spend will come back into the community.”

Cllr Pop Jolley, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for leisure, accompanied Cllr Cornwell at the opening. Cllrs Peter Murphy, John Clark, Kit Owen, Bernard Keane and Trevor Quince also attended along with Andrew Coles from the contractors CG Godfrey and council officers who had helped deliver the project.