THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BOAT OWNERS

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Canal & River Trust

CRT winter stopages 2014 -15

Don't forget that CRT have details of the stoppage programme on their web site here.

There is map showing lots of detail. You needed to select 'Notices and Stoppages' in the options box to the right (and unselect anything that you don't want. Then zoom to your area. 

Details of closures are shown in red and further detail in individual links. All good for planing the winter cruise.

K&A Local Mooring Plan

Local mooring plan for the K&A

Mike Roddgives an update from NABO’s perspective

Following further discussions with interested parties, including NABO, CRT has launched its response to the recent consultation on the towpath mooring plan for the K&A Canal west of Devizes1. This plan was produced by a sub-group of the Waterways Partnership, building upon work undertaken by an earlier and, unfortunately, abandoned working party in which most boating organisations were involved.

NABO has always accepted that CRT has a problem that it inherited from BW on this highly congested stretch of the waterway. Having recently rejected Roving Mooring Permits (consistently opposed by NABO) we believe that the proposed interim local mooring guidelines are a reasonable short-term approach. NABO notes that these are only guidelines but given that they are generally locally supported, they will give all interested parties some breathing space to work out nationally agreed solutions.

In essence, the guidelines provide:

  • A fair and consistent approach to handling applications for exceptional overstays.
  • The adoption of a locally-agreed ‘neighbourhoods’ schedule to clarify movement requirements after 14 days.
  • Agreement (as legally required) to move every 14 days.
  • Agreement to moor in different neighbourhoods with no ‘bridge-hopping’.
  • A range of movement exceeding 20km during the period of the licence.
  • Fair consistent enforcement of the 14-day rule.

However NABO is unhappy about the £25 overstay ‘charge’ (which looks to us like a fine) and the proposed no-return rule, both applicable to visitor moorings. Besides the fact that our legal advisors confirm that both are not legally enforceable (assuming the charge is in fact a penalty as there is no mechanism to pre-pay it), we can't see how they can work in practice.

Is it really sensible for CRT to monitor every visitor mooring on a daily basis, presumably to gather evidence?  How do you fine a hire boater? And, presumably, if a private boater is happy to pay £75 for a week in Bath, CRT will be happy to take his or her money; many would see this as good value. Indeed, how will it be collected and how will boaters ask to stay an extra day?

We understand and support the need to share fairly and suggest that simply saying a maximum of 48-hours stay on a visitor mooring is enough. After that boaters have to move on or action will be taken to move them on as they are obstructing others from using the mooring. We also need to point out that from our own member’s experience and NABO surveys, the issue of overstaying on visitor moorings is mostly not caused by continuous cruisers; it is simply a congestion issue.

Beside the above reservations, NABO welcomes the introduction of this plan for an initial 12 months and hopes that it will be supported by the wider boating community. We are also pleased by CRT’s assurance that it will look at our concerns and related issues in full, as part of a national review in which we and other national bodies will be consulted.

1 See: http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/about-us/consultations/completed-consultations

CRT latest on K&A Mooring Plan

CRT have released the summary reports on the consultation for the K&A Mooring Plan.

They comment that there were:

438 completed response questionnaires received as well as 19 separate submissions to the consultation, including eight from local and national organisations with links to the canal.

The consultation questionnaire findings together with the detailed comments highlight a number of areas where boaters, organisations and other stakeholders suggest that changes to the proposals are needed.  Many of the commentators stressed that as they stand, the measures proposed would be unlikely to address all the stated aims.

The Trust will now give serious consideration to the findings and hold further discussions with the Waterway Partnership and Navigation Advisory Group to inform its final executive decision.

The CRT consultation page is here:

http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/about-us/consultations/completed-consultations

The feedback report is here:

http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/library/5246.pdf

NABO will comment is due course.

CRT meets with the Boating Associations

In attendance at this meeting, called by CRT, on the 3rd of February 2014, were the Chairs and representatives of NABO (Mike Rodd, Mark Tizard), IWA (Les Etheridge and Paul Roper), RBOA (Alan Wildman), AWCC (Paul La Blique) and ACC (Steve Jay and Louise Yeoman). From CRT were CEO Richard Parry, Directors Vince Moran and Simon Salem, and Boating Manager, Sally Ash.

Is there a need for a CRT welfare manager?

Recently CRT legally removed a boat from its waters using the section 8 process and in so doing effectively made a mentally ill boater homeless. This is a pretty provocative statement and feelings around this event recently ran high on the boating forums and web journals. In short order a petition asking CRT to stop evicting vulnerable boaters raised 4000 signatures.