Navigation on the River Tawe – Feasibilty and Benefits Study

This report has been commissioned by the Swansea Community Boat Trust into facilitating and extending navigation of the River Tawe, Swansea, has been funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and has been administered by Swansea Council FLAG. This report is in four parts covering the Tawe itself, links via the Fendrod to Clydach and via Prince of Wales Dock to a new basin at Crymlyn, and a summary of benefits resulting from the overall scheme.

The idea of linking the Tawe to other waterways and extending navigation is not a new one, it was first suggested in 1992 in a report prepared By WS Atkins (as they were then), and had its genesis in an earlier age when Swansea was at the focus of the local waterways, the Swansea Canal ran the length of the Swansea Valley from Abercrave to the North Dock, The Neath Canal did similar in the Vale of Neath, and the Tennant Canal (the longest private canal in the UK and originally called the Swansea and Neath Union Canal) connected the Neath Canal to the Tawe at Swansea via the Prince of Wales Dock at Port Tennant. Historically the same boats did not cover the entire network but had these waterways survived intact to the leisure era then undoubtedly pleasure cruisers would have crossed the Tawe between the Tennant and Swansea Canals and made their way inland on both waterways.

The Swansea Canal has vanished south of Clydach and the Tennant Canal now disappears just north of Fabian Way, so new canal links are proposed to reconnect the Tawe to each canal. The previous studies (1992 and 2002 – both Atkins) looked at this in some detail and MNY have done significant work on the Swansea Canal and its links to the Tawe, the Prince of Wales Dock, and the Tennant Canal. However these studies have treated the Tawe as a movement corridor which will carry boats between canal sections and the city centre, indeed even the links to the historic waterway have been treated in this way, a means of connecting Clydach and Neath to Swansea Marina rather than entities in their own right.

This study therefore looks in rather more detail at the possibilities for the Tawe itself, and given that these possibilities focus on the potential for commercial passenger carrying vessels this study also looks at the potential for such vessels to travel the new links. Thus, the potential for navigation on the Tawe, and to Clydach and Crymlyn, is examined in its own right rather than simply as a means of connecting historic waterways.

Please see the links below for the full report:

Details of the Tawe Heritage Trail: