Listening to boat owners, Speaking out for boat owners, Representing boat owners.


CRT pull a rabbit out a hat.

CRT have this week published their intended wording for boat licence terms and conditions. This follows a consultation in 2020. There is also a report on the consultation.

You can read the details here:

CRT unhelpfully say "After such a positive and constructive response to the consultation with respondents largely recognising the purpose and strength of the proposals, and their feedback further shaping several of them, we thank everyone who took the time to share their thoughts."

This all needs detailed study to see what, if anything, they have done with our comments. It is also clear that there are controversial legal issues that have been introduced in the wording which were not covered by the consultation. NABO Council will meet in the coming days to review the new document and see what is to be done.

One aspect that NABO had recommended was that the general wording be reviewed for readability. CRT appear to have taken this on board. CRT have not published any parallel rewording of the Privacy documents.

These terms come in to play on 1st June for boaters who apply for a new or renewed licence.

CRT have taken 6 months of secret internal and legal review to come up with this. Now they produce it like 'a rabbit out af a hat'. Magic?


Paper or electronic NABO News?

At its last meeting, NABO Council discussed the cost of printing and posting NABO News and a possible electronic version of the magazine. This would have a ‘page-flip’ feature so that it can be easily read on a computer or tablet screen. Opinions were divided between keeping the current printed format on the grounds that members wanted to have physical copies to read and share with colleagues, and those who felt that we should move towards an electronic version that was easy to read and distribute and would result in substantial cost savings. The Council decided to seek the views of members before discussing it again.

I would be grateful if you could email or write to me (details on inside front cover) to let me know what you think. The two options are:

  1. I would like to continue to receive printed issues of NABO News through the post;
  2. I would prefer to change and receive electronic issues, sent to me by email.

I’d be grateful if you could let me know before April 24th so that the Council can discuss the results at its next meeting. Thank you for your help.
Peter Fellows

CRT’s London strategy – NABO’s response

In this paper, NABO is responding to CRT’s recent consultation and Zoom meetings, seeking suggestions from boaters to further address congestion, principally in the London area.

For several years, CRT sought views via the Boater Relationship Group and subsequently, when this collapsed, it facilitated meetings that resulted in the publication of its London Strategy document in June 2018. This document outlined the actions that CRT would take to address congestion in London.

We are concerned that CRT is seeking to repeat this exercise without first implementing a significant number of the promised outcomes. Surely, after all the effort that went into the 2018 strategy document, it would make sense to implement it in full and then carry out a review of where the strategy had worked or failed, before seeking to repeat the exercise. By CRT’s own figures, the numbers of boats have not risen substantially since the strategy was published. The effects of the current pandemic have seen boats spread out further and the longer-term implications are as yet unclear.

Red diesel to remain on the inland waterways.

At the budget in March, the Chancellor of the Exchequer agreed that boaters can continue to use red diesel with the customary declarations on tax split. You may recall that the Treasury held a consultation at the end of 2020, and NABO responded as we reported in the October NN. We are delighted that the Treasury have listened to us. NABO has been campaigning on this for more than 20 years! This sets aside, once and for all, the European Court judgement that was threatening us for many years. There will be other changes to the red diesel market as proposed last year. In 2022, the construction industry and mobile refrigeration will change over to white diesel, and this may impact on some of our suppliers. This is because of the change in volumes of the diesel supplies. We shall have to see how this works out. Overall this is excellent news and a very pleasing moment for the stalwarts. We have a bit of cheer for once.

NABO responds to the CRT consultation on licence terms

NABO has now responded to the consultation by Canal and River Trust on private boat licence terms and conditions.

The consultation closes on 20 December. If you have not done so please complete your personal return. Details are in the last boaters update, or on this link.

You can read the main NABO response here.

During the consulation review, NABO identified issues of privacy laws compliance and readability. We have also provided our comments to the Trust on separate documents.

You can read the comments on privacy here.

You can read the comments on ease of reading here.