Oxford is built upon the waterways. Its canal and rivers are an asset bringing many benefits to the city and our communities.

We work closely with key partners such as the Environment Agency, Canal & River Trust and others to ensure our waterways are safe and enjoyable for all.

Oxford Waterways Project

In September 2019 we published our shared vision for improving the river and canal. 

The Oxford Waterways Project was an initiative to bring together the city council, Oxfordshire County Council, the Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust, all of whom have responsibility for the waterways and the areas around them.  

Key themes

The vision and an introduction to the project describes how the waterways benefit the city. It sets five themes which were used to identify improvement opportunities. These include:

  • City regeneration – improving the way the waterways look and feel
  • Mooring and service provision – reviewing the way the waterways are managed for those on boats
  • Tourism – attracting new visitors to the city and supporting the local economy
  • Active communities – boosting health and wellbeing and engagement with communities 
  • Environment – responding to the climate change emergency by protecting and enhancing the environment

The City Council continues to work closely with partners and communities to deliver upon these themes.