The government have suggested that the waterways should become more commercial. Some of the wide canals & rivers may be able to cope but the lack of investment since the railways 'took over' means that it will take a long time to achieve. Perhaps the railways should take more. The commercial boats are much deeper in the water than the average pleasure boat. So the much needed dredging will have to be addressed.
The canals are increasingly being used for recreation these days by many user groups such as bikers, walkers, fisher men and boaters. It is a 'natural' environment now and is very relaxing for hard working people to enjoy. Commercialisation will destroy all this.