Short-term moorings – is it time for a review?
Mark Tizard calls for a review of the visitor mooring framework policy.
CRT put a lot of time and effort into creating a short-term visitor mooring framework policy, which is available on their website. This laid down an evidence-based process behind any proposed changes to visitor moorings. The policy came to the fore in the 2016 South East visitor mooring consultation, when changes to stay times were proposed for various locations in the region.
NABO was instrumental in pointing out that CRT had failed to follow its own policy. Indeed, once the evidence was gathered, many of the proposed changes were shown to be unnecessary and, to CRT’s credit, these were dropped.
While there are minimum standards for the grass cutting and surface level of visitor moorings, there is nothing regarding water depth. And, as many members are now discovering, this is becoming an increasing problem in getting boats safely alongside, especially for some of our disabled colleagues. Depth is also not taken into consideration when new moorings are created. New mooring rings were introduced by the winding hole at Stoke Bruerne (where even CRT’s own workboat couldn’t get alongside) and the new visitor moorings above Soulbury can only safely be used by shallow-drafted boats. So please CRT, can you amend the framework document to include a minimum required depth; I would suggest one metre to allow for subsequent silting. Once this has been done, the framework process should be used to review whether existing visitor moorings are fit for purpose. Do they meet boaters’ needs in terms of location, depth, length and stay times? With the current campaign to recruit volunteers in mind, this could be an ideal project for them.