As part of NABO's ongoing monitoring of British Waterways' mooring policies, we asked Sally Ash, Head of Boating, to provide us with any available data relating to the policy of reducing on-line moorings. We were grateful to be given the link to a document
produced by Jenny Whitehall, Boating Trade Team Manager, the introduction to which is summarised below. There are also tables listing all closures since 2006 by Year and New Marina, and by Mooring Site, on the BW website, which you can access in a pdf file here.
BW Update on progress in reducing on line moorings – July 2010
BW’s policy is to reduce on line moorings within a 30 mile radius of each new marina in a ratio of 1:10 within 12 months of the marina opening. They originally intended to implement this through closure of selected sites, but following challenges from live-aboard boaters at sites identified for closure, they decided that the only practical way of meeting their commitment would be through natural wastage (i.e. berths becoming vacant and subsequently decommissioned).
Following BW’s reorganisation in November 2009, the management of their online moorings business is the responsibility of a specialist team. This allowed them to centralise, review and cleanse relevant data. They completed a review of all the reductions previously recorded in online moorings since the commencement date of their online mooring reduction policy. They took as a baseline the boats moored on all their directly managed sites at April 2006.
The exercise revealed some discrepancies between what their previous local managers had recorded as reductions and what they found to be the case comparing the April 2006 records with those of July 2010. The statement therefore included some amendments where it was shown that moorings declared as closed had in fact been vacant pre the 2006 base date. It was felt these could not be included in the online reduction data. BW did however find reductions in mooring berths that had come about for other reasons which compensated for the shortfall.
The requirement was for BW to have closed 415 on line berths in respect of the marinas opened between January 2007 and April 2010. This had been achieved.
The tables detail the date by which closures should be complete, name of the marina opened along with the number of berths created, the navigation on which the marina is located and the number of closures required. It then details where moorings have been closed, the navigation on which they are located and the number of berths closed. A further table shows the sites where closures have taken place, the number of berths closed and the marina these relate to.
Once the target number of closures has been met for a particular marina, BW may redistribute the berth reductions, re-instating some berths and closing an equal number elsewhere within the required area in order to protect mooring site profitability (a mooring with 6 berths is likely to become unprofitable if 3 berths are vacated as the site maintenance costs will remain relatively static). Such re-distribution is monitored by BW’s boating trade team to ensure continued compliance with our commitment. The dependence upon natural wastage was so far proving effective, but it obviously does not have the visual impact that full site closures would have.