NABO News Editorial April 2014

It seems that one unexpected consequence of the winter flooding is the revisiting of plans to merge EA navigations into CRT. Although CRT successfully manages the navigation and flood control on the Trent, NABO believes that without substantial Government support running into tens of millions, CRT is not yet sufficiently financially secure to take on the additional EA waterways. In this issue, NABO’s Thames Rep. Louis Jankel, offers a detailed breakdown of why this is a bad idea, but with some form of reorganisation of Defra looking increasingly likely, will the politicians listen?

The good news is that CRT has abandoned plans for a Roving Mooring Permits trial and Mark Tizard reviews the somewhat chequered history of RMPs from BW days. Now we need to turn our attention to no-return rules and overstaying charges, which as I have pointed out many times, should never have been introduced. As NABO’s Mooring Rep., Mark is fully involved in both these and monitoring the ‘guidelines for continuous cruisers’ just reissued by CRT. As he points out in his articles and Mike Rodd describes in his update on the K&A mooring plan, these signs and charges are not legally enforceable and are a sledgehammer to crack a proverbial tiny nut. Most boaters and boating organisations seem to agree that where there is an issue of overstaying, proper even-handed enforcement to move offenders on is the right way forward - but of course this costs CRT money. Perhaps it is also up to us boaters to apply peer pressure more often; after all we are the ones that would benefit. Finally, we have all been saddened to learn of the death of NABO’s oldest member and lifelong waterways campaigner, Philip Ogden. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.