On Friday 8th April 2016 Mike Rodd and Geoffrey Rogerson met with Mike Grimes, CRT’s Head of Boating, and Matthew Symonds, Strategy and Engagement Manager (Boating), on The Rose of Hungerford.
Initial discussions related to CRT seeking NABO’s views on how to handle the increasing pressure on access to visitor mooring in the overcrowded areas such as London and Bath. NABO accepts that there is a serious problem in these areas and in the end, exploring different arrangements for busy and congested waterways might have to be the way ahead.
CRT accepted that their handling of the recent consultation on Visitor Moorings in the South East was not handled well and they will ensure that in future the Short Term Mooring Framework guideline are adhered to – they are preparing an additional appendix to the guideline to ensure that the processes required is clear to all. NABO noted that on the Mon & Brec the guidelines had worked well and the changes introduced were welcomed and accepted by all users.
Discussions also dealt with the present approach to the monitoring of boats without home moorings. CRT pointed out that the use of their existing 1 km mappings of the canal make it relatively easy for their enforcement teams to monitor the movement of boats even if this does mean that every 28 days, a degree of bridge hopping is possible. They recognise that manually mapping a boat’s movement against their 1km maps is labour intensive and costly and that there could, in time, be alternative ways to monitor the require range of overall movement, will lead to a degree of clarity in what is required.
NABO repeated their concern about the application of CC’ing requirements to those with home moorings when away from their home moorings, noting that this was not legally possible.
NABO repeated their support for Winter Moorings and suggested that more extensive and earlier consultation with groups such as NABO would help determine where such moorings should be located, and would enhance their offering. It was pointed out that, for example, on the eastern end of the K&A there were relatively few winter morning available and, as a result, some boaters who had paid for these, found in practice that their moorings were not actually available. Better monitoring of non-winter moorers was therefore also needed to ensure fairness.
Being on a section of the K&A where services were poorly provided (eg at Hungerford where bins were removed some 6 or 7 years ago and now boaters had to travel many miles to find a bin, and hence, the existing sanitary station ended up with heaps of rubbish left round it) the question of the provision of such facilities was discussed. CRT described work presently being undertaken to address these concerns.
It was agreed that this had been a very useful exchange of views and would be repeated on a regular basis.